Summary: We are called to let our lives count for Christ even when it means go against the cultural standards and political correctness of society.
Raising The Bar—“Let Your Life Count For Something”
Today is the final message in our series “Raising The Bar.” We have looked at letting our yes mean yes, our attitudes towards those around us, and our behavior and disposition at work. We have looked at all of these things because in the end we want our lives to count for something.
There was movie entitled “Saving Private Ryan” centered in Europe in World War II. This family had sent four of their sons to fight in the war. The War Department noticed that three of the sons had been killed and they wanted to send the 4th son back to his parents alive. The only problem was, the army didn’t know exactly where Private Ryan was fighting in Europe.
A group of about 8 guys go in search of finding Private Ryan. They engage in battles with German soldiers. They finally find Private Ryan and they explain the situation to him. But hearing that his brothers were dead, Private Ryan doesn’t want to leave his combat unit because he feels they are the only brothers he has left. He finally agrees to go, but by this time most of the 8 guys who went to save him are dead.
One of the last guys takes a bullet that should have gone to Private Ryan, and Ryan knows it. As Ryan is treating the guy who’s dying, the guy knows that his life is about over, he looks at Ryan and says, “make it count.” Ryan knew he owed a debt to live his life in such a way that those guys would not have given their lives in vain trying to save him.
Jesus came here on a mission seeking to find and to save you and me. My friends when we look at Jesus hanging on a cross, with blood running down his face, his back, his arms, his legs and his feet, and his face swollen from beatings, and spit in his eyes from the crowd, Jesus is not telling us to feel sorry for him, or to wish we could take his place.
Jesus is saying as my disciple “make it count.” “I gave my life for you, now go live in such a way as to make it count.” The amazing thing about making our lives count is that it can happen anywhere, at any time, for any of us, in any situation. We sometimes have a false idea of what it takes to make it count.
Suppose your dad was CEO of a company that made hundreds of millions of dollars each year and he was grooming you to take over the company with a salary of $15 million dollars per year for life. He let your brothers and sisters know that he was making you CEO for life and that he was appointing them as your assistants in various offices across the country making $5 million dollars each.
To help you run the company he would leave a few people from his board of directors to provide you with wisdom in running the company. A few years later your dad dies, and now you are CEO.
Now if you had this offered to you, how many of you believe you would be in a great position to make your life count. You’ve got money, you’ve got power, you’ve got the ability to raise the bar for the lives of many people. How many of you know, you would do so much for God, you would have so many rewards waiting for you when you got to heaven. When you died, there would be so many people at your funeral wanting to say what a blessing you were to their lives.
Let me tell you what really happened to a person who got this wonderful opportunity to make his life count. Well the first thing he did was called his brothers and sisters together along with their children for a family reunion and had them all murdered at the site. He called a trustee board meeting and killed all the trustees left over from his father’s administration. He used his money to persuade people to turn their back on God and to enjoy life doing whatever they wanted to do, and he built places of worship that were basically prostitute houses where worship of God involved sexual perversions of all kinds.
He made the lives of his workers miserable. He lost his wife and all of his children except one. His life came to a painful and tragic end after 8 years after being given this great opportunity. At his funeral, the only people who showed up outside a few family members were those who had to be there because of their position.