Summary: If we are going to recapture our spirit of adventure for God, we must be willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom of Christ
Last week I shared the story of Helen Keller and her incredible spirit and inspirational life. We are to tackle life with the same kind of spirit or tenacity. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. This week I want to look at the life of one of the most influential, conservative theologians of the 20th century.
To say this man was brilliant would be an understatement. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Berlin in 1927 with a doctorate in theology, a stunning feat, especially at the age of 21.
He took up the cause of conservative theology and battled for the church to embrace a relative faith that impacted the world. The goal was to change the world for Christ.
He traveled to New York for further studies and then took a church in London due to unrest in Germany. He began writing and published a variety of works on theology and church. He decided that his calling was to assist ministers in Germany. He began to teach at Finkenwalde Seminary which was later closed by the Nazi’s. He then secretly traveled from village to village training ministers.
The man would eventually return to the United States as a guest scholar at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Again, he began feeling the need to return to help his fellow countrymen under Nazi rule. He returned to discover his brother was assisting a group trying to overthrow Hitler.
He would soon be arrested for his association and assistance with those involved in Operation Valkerie. While in prison he continued to write and to teach. He would be executed a mere three weeks before Berlin was liberated.
His writings are considered classics and many are required reading in conservative theology.
His name is Dietrich Bonhoeffer
When Christ calls someone; He bids them to come and die. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
If we are going to recapture our spirit of adventure for God, we must be willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom of Christ. If you have your Bibles with you this morning, open them to John 12:23-26. I want to look at the first daring step you need to take to truly be a disciple of Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:23-26
Sacrifice brings life
Remember that Jesus was being sought by many. His teaching is nothing short of radical. His power was just revealed in the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Even Greeks were trying to see Jesus. There seems to be a clear rise in the sheer popularity of Jesus. Just when the world would scramble for power and prestige, Jesus trades the honor of a king for the humility of sacrifice. Jesus makes the future abundantly clear, He is not bound for a crown but instead heads for the cross.