If we’re honest, most of us try to avoid the topic of death. Sure, we know that death is a fact of life and that we’ll all face death someday.(Eccl.3:2; Heb.9:27) Most of us have even lost loved ones and friends to death, so, death hasn’t left the best impression with us. We don’t want to think of losing loved ones to death and it’s almost impossible to fathom our own death. Let’s face it, this topic of death is just not one of our favorites. We want to act as though death isn’t real, like it’s not lingering and like it won’t show up somewhere in our lives at some point. What if I said there are worse things in life than death?
Having been around death so many times over the last twenty years and having studied the Scriptures, I’ve come to understand that there is a good side to death. That may seem absolutely ridiculous to you, but allow me to let the apostle Paul explain. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”(Phil.1:21) Paul says his life was all about Jesus and so death was no threat to him at all. In fact, Paul refers to the good side of death when he writes, death is a gain. For the Christian, death offers no threat or intimidation and takes nothing away. The good side of death for the Christian is that he or she gains eternal life in heaven.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”(I Cor.15:55-57)
When the conversation turns to sharing our faith the crickets get louder. My point is that a lot of people are just not comfortable sharing their faith so they have little to add to the conversation so it’s only crickets that we hear. Most of us have a fear of rejection. We want so badly to be accepted by everyone that the thought of someone rejecting us for sharing our faith will cause us to just be silent. Hear the crickets? I want you to know that there are benefits to sharing your faith. One obvious benefit is that you may lead someone to Christ and save a soul. I realize that benefits more the soul being saved but you still reap the encouragement and joy from snatching a soul from the enemy.
There is a specific benefit you will receive for sharing your faith. “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”(Philemon 6) According to Paul, we have a better understanding of how good we have it in Christ when we share our faith. When we tell others about Jesus and how and why the Christian life is the greatest life one can live, we realize how good it is to be in Christ. Sometimes we fail to acknowledge our greatest blessings until we verbally speak of them to others. It’s when we speak of the life that we have in Jesus that our blessings in Christ come to light for us. Share your faith and reap the benefits of a fuller understanding of all that you have in Christ.
I was a young man in school the first time I broke 80 on the golf course. This had been a goal of mine for several years and one that I wasn’t sure I’d ever achieve. I remember the golf course in Lubbock, Texas where it took place. I remember the excitement and anticipation when I realized my goal was in reach. I remember the first phone call I made after my then record score. I also remember the disappointment I felt. You see, I learned that day that shooting my record score on the golf course really wasn’t all that big a deal.
I knew there was a bigger picture that was far bigger and more important than any score I shoot in golf. Hobbies are great and fun but there is a bigger picture. A t-shirt I used to have had a big picture message that read: “Golf is my game, but Jesus is my life”. No matter how well I play or how poorly I play, golf is just a game. The big picture is Jesus is my life. There are a lot of things we do and enjoy in this life, but those things don’t define us, Jesus does. Big picture people know that and strive every day to make their life more about Jesus. Be big picture people.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”(Lk.9:24-25)