I Want to Die Pointing
By Joseph Summers
I want to die pointing. I had this basic realization the other day: when death finds me, I want it to find me pointing to JESUS! There are so many distractions in our lives, and I am not just talking about sinful, evil things; I am talking about all the things we busy ourselves with, and make priorities, that are NOT God’s priorities for us. I often am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the Pearl of Great Price in Matthew 13:46. The Master shares with us that the Kingdom of Heaven is not only about rooting out sin in our life (and yes we should be mad about eradicating every sin in our lives!), but it is also about giving up GOOD THINGS for something FAR BETTER! I think this is lost in modern Christianity. We are too often simply content that we are “not like that sinner in the back of the temple.” We think that as long as we are not getting drunk, committing adultery, and killing people, then we are somehow living out our Christian duty. WRONG. [pullquote1 align=”right” variation=”slategrey”]”Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”[/pullquote1]
Our lives are supposed to be pointing to heaven! If my central focus is on getting a good education, finding a great job, and providing for my family (all admittedly GOOD THINGS), then the LORD and His plan for my life ARE NOT my main focus. My life isn’t pointing to heaven, it’s pointing to the good things of this earth, just like any other responsible person without Christ in their lives. Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things will be given you besides.” (Mt 6:33). “First” means FIRST, as in before other things, as in before ALL other things, even GOOD THINGS like my job, my family, my education, my family vacation, my fill-in-the-blank! Jesus and the Gospel are not a good thing among other good things, JESUS is THE GOOD THING, He is THE GOOD NEWS.
Jesus makes some pretty bold demands on our lives. Take for example, oh I don’t know, the four Gospels! Jesus is constantly challenging his followers with awesome and foundational truths. That is after all His right, if in fact He is our LORD and Savior. If I claim that my life was ransomed, and purchased at so great a Price, then I cannot continue to live as if I own my life. I belong to Him! Before I can take that job, or pursue that degree, or buy that car, I have to ask the LORD if this is what He desires for me and my life! Is this really what the LORD wants for me, is this really what my life is to be about, or does He have something better.
[pullquote1 align=”left” variation=”slategrey”] “… so that world might know the LOVE of a Father who sent HIS ONLY SON to DIE so that we might have LIFE…” [/pullquote1] As a missionary, a son of missionaries, and a member of a missionary community, I have been blessed to witness time and again the joy that comes from laying down the good things we had planned for our lives, to embrace the SOMETHING BETTER. Embracing a life of sacrifice, humility, prayer, joy, renunciation, selflessness, Gospel poverty, and a head-over-heels love for God, points! And I for one want to point. Taking the Gospel seriously MEANS running, full-force in the opposite direction of well grounded, sensible people who are doing all the “right” things. Not until we, as a people of God, lay down our lives, good things and all, so that world might know the LOVE of a Father who sent HIS ONLY SON to DIE so that we might have LIFE, will the saving truth of the Gospel reach a world running toward perdition! If we do not respond, the world is lost, and our own salvation jeopardized. When I die, I want strangers, friends, family, and especially my now 19 month old son and baby on the way, to see their friend and Daddy pointing to a LIFE that is MORE!