Do You Love Me 1

Posted by   admin on    August 27, 2014

It happened in the opening salvos of World War II. A large British military force, on the European continent, retreated to the French coastal port of Dunkirk. They were joined by some English citizens and diplomats. Their backs were against the English Channel. The British army faced a German army that threatened to drive it into the sea. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill tried to save what he could of his army. He called for all available sea vessels, whether large or small, to evacuate the soldiers and civilians. They were besieged on French beaches. His hope was to bring them back across the Channel to safety.

 

An incredible array of ships and boats raced to the rescue. They were fishing boats and cruise ships alike. The brave men of this makeshift flotilla made their way to the beach. They were determined to pick up soldiers and then move out again. Suddenly Nazi aircraft set upon them like vultures. At the same time German artillery pummeled them with shells. Ships were strafed with machine gun fire, and some were blown out of the water altogether.

 

Three German Messerschmitts attacked the defenseless Lancastria, a converted cruise liner. Its decks and hold were packed with soldiers. One bomb dropped directly down the ship's smokestack, tearing a huge gap in her lower hull. Nearly 200 men were trapped in the forward hold of the now severely listing ship. No one doubted that the liner was going down.

 

Up on deck chaos, smoke, oil, fire, and blood, mixed with terrified cries of the men trapped below created pandemonium. Those hopeful of surviving searched for lifeboats or simply leaped into the water. Moving through the middle of this living nightmare, a young Navy chaplain quietly worked his way through. He made it to the edge of the hold and peered in at the darkness below.

 

Then, knowing he could never get out, he lowered himself in.

 

Survivors were in the water awaiting passing ships to rescue them. Later they told how they had very little courage to keep going. Yet they heard one, unwavering sound of hope. It was the brave voices of the men in the hold singing a hymn. The name of that hymn was “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

 

Those who were in the water heard these doomed men sing how God was a, “bulwark never failing.” Those trapped never wavered in their song as the ship finally rolled over and went to the bottom. The faith of these trapped sailors gave them hope. It caused them to look to the one who was ever present with them. The young navy Chaplin was given a great ministry. He brought hope to doomed men. He brought hope to those waiting in the water expecting to die. But in order to bring hope to them, he had to identify with them. He identified with them even though it meant joining them in their death.

 

This true story testifies to the courage and compassion of one faithful Christian. A Christian who understood invested ministry. He understood it whether or not he used those words. He understood it, because he lived it. He put himself in a doomed situation. He did this so his life could provide comfort, courage, and hope to the suffering. He did not stand at the brink of the hold and preach a sermon to them. He did not cry out to them to accept Jesus as their savior so they could go to heaven. He did not quote bible verses to them. He did not throw gospel tracts down to them in the midst of their despair. That young Navy chaplain put into practice the words of his Lord:

 

“Greater love has no one than this,

that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).

 

How often do you lay down your life?

 

Do you lay down your life or just preach a sermon?

 

Do you identify with people or simply encourage people to accept Jesus as their savior to get into heaven?

 

Do you identify with them and their sin racked lives or just hand them a gospel tract?

 

How often do you lay down your life for your friends or your family?

 

Maybe you would for them.

 

How about for your enemies?

 

How about people you do not know?

 

How about those who use you and treat you in despicable ways?

 

You know that is what Jesus told his disciples to do.

 

Remember what we learned in last week’s post? There are no options in following Jesus Christ.  Loving, laying down your life for others, is the basic model.

 

There are different ways of laying down our lives. The young navy Chaplin had the great opportunity to lay down his life as our Lord did his. We may say we would do the same—but would we? A good indicator of that is how we “lay down our lives” in everyday situations.

 

Forgiveness is one way of laying down our lives. This is especially true if we believe we have been wronged. Our natural tendency is to want to strike back—or at least hold on to the pain. Yet the attitude of Jesus is happening when we count others as more important than ourselves. It is happening when we do not look after our own interests. The attitude of Jesus is only happening when we put the interests of others before our own.

 

Remember the attitude of Jesus is not optional.

Living the attitude of Jesus is the basic model.

The attitude of Jesus is INVESTED MINISTRY.

 

We cannot say we are Christians if living the attitude of Jesus is not our primary objective in life.

 

We cannot say we are forgiven if the gift of repentance doesn’t cause us to turn from our self interests. We cannot say we are forgiven if repentance doesn’t cause us to turn and seek the interests of others first.

 

We can’t say we love Jesus if living like Jesus is just a minor part of our lives. We can’t say we love Jesus if living like Jesus is just an afterthought. We can’t say we love Jesus if living like Jesus is a thought that never crosses our minds.

 

How can we say we want to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus? I mean how can we say that if living his attitude is not our primary goal in this life?

 

Do these thoughts bother you?

 

If you have fallen into the trap of the “easy believism” of the 20th century church it probably does.

 

I understand this. I write about these things. I seek to live these things. I teach these things to others. Yet get this! What I just wrote bothers me as well. It bothers me because I fall so short.

 

Thank Father for his grace and mercy. Thank him for the forgiveness we have through the shed blood of Jesus.

 

But my brothers and sisters we cannot just rest in that.

 

We must press on into the heart of God. We must press on if the forgiveness of God is real in our lives. If we are forgiven the attitude of Jesus will naturally become the number one objective of our lives.

 

INVESTED MINISTRY is the attitude of Jesus lived out in everyday life. If Jesus is in us and we are in him, Invested Ministry becomes the way we live.

 

We will never be satisfied to fall short—we press on into the high calling we have in Christ Jesus.

 

Oh yes . . . remember . . . none of this is optional. It is the basic model.

Posted by John McRee on
Fantastic! That is love! Not easy to emulate, just as it was not easy for that Chaplain. The question always is, "How much are we willing to give?"
Posted by admin on
Hey John thanks for the thoughts. When I was a young man and had just become a new disciple you gave yourself for me. You invested your time and energy into me above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you my brother. Keep on Keep'in on! JBW
Leave a Reply



(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)


Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.


Tags

Click on the picture below to watch an important message from Jim Warren about the content of this weeks blog

SIGN UP FOR UPDATES ON THIS BLOG AND MORE AND GET YOUR FREE GIFT!

An audio version of this blog has been added below for your convenience. You may also download this audio by clicking on the download button.

Jim Warren highly recommends these books to go along with this weeks blog. When you click on them and purchase them from Amazon a portion of the sales goes to help provide scholarships for the youth and young adults we serve. Thanks for considering this purchase.