Summary: Saying ‘Yes’ to life basically boils down to asking, “What can I do with the life God has given me?” And then, living into it!!!
“Saying ‘Yes’ to Life”
By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN
An author writes, “When my oldest son, Nathan, was a teenager, he told me that he had decided to become a stockbroker, a millionaire by age 30, and retire to the Bahamas.”
The author notes, “I told him I would be deeply hurt to see him fail so badly.”
The Christian life turns everything on its ear.
St. Francis gave up everything to become an impoverished fool for Christ—embracing lepers and a life of poverty.
Corrie ten Boom, a young Dutch Christian risked her life again and again to rescue Jews from the Holocaust, and while in a concentration camp herself, praised God for the lice and bedbugs that kept the Nazi guards away.
Recently, I read about a man, who drives a shuttle bus for car renters at the St. Louis Airport and treats them like dear friends, because he sees his job as part of his Christian calling.
These people found the pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in the field.
And that treasure is Jesus Christ, “who for the joy set before him endured the cross.”
In The Cost of Discipleship, Deitrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that when Christ calls us, He calls us to come and die.
But the greater truth is that in doing so, Christ calls us to come and live.
I think there are many folks, who, having thought they said ‘yes’ to life have actually done the opposite, and are thus merely existing.
We see it on the faces of people who have sought riches, but have found that they are fleeting and only dust in the wind.
Or those who have sought power only to find themselves alone and hated.
We see the sorrow in sexual affairs, alcohol and drug abusers and the expressionless faces that emerge from a pornographic movie.
Or what about the celebrities who make the headlines in the supermarket tabloids?
It’s the sorrow of living for the moment and finding that beyond that moment everything is lost.
There is no hope in it.
Saying ‘Yes’ to life basically boils down to asking, “What can I do with the life God has given me?”
And then, living into it!!!
The author of Hebrews is writing to a very weary church.
They were being persecuted for their faith.
All sorts of pressure was being put upon them to try and make them go back to where they’d been before, to abandon Christ.
This was nothing new.
What was new, it appears, was that this time, some were turning away or at least getting very close.
Earlier in Chapter 10, the author writes, “do not throw away your confidence…”
Our passage of Scripture for this morning is a call to persevere even in the face of great difficulty.
It is the call to say ‘Yes’ to Christ, and thus say ‘Yes’ to life no matter what the cost!
For certainly, if the people were to turn away, they would be ruined emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Life would completely lose its luster.
Everything would turn to dust.
When it comes down to it Christ is our anchor in this life.
And when the going gets rough, this Anchor is the only thing which keeps us from crashing into the rocks on the shore.
We all deal with great difficulties.
We all have some sort of monkey on our back.
But these things remind us just how much we need God!
And how much God desires to be in relationship with us.
And it is by grace through faith that we are saved.
And this not of ourselves—it is a gift of God to those who will accept it!!!
And as the author to the Hebrews writes at the beginning of Chapter 11, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
And then he adds, “This is what the ancients were commended for.”
Then he goes on to list so many heroes of the faith who, though facing many difficulties, lived victorious lives through their faith in God!
These are our brothers and sisters, although we do not yet know them personally.
They lived by God’s gift of faith; looked at death and saw the promise of new life beyond!!!
And in doing so, they looked God in the face and, trusting Him, and lived life to the full!!!
“By faith the people walked through the Red Sea…”
“By faith the wall of Jericho fell…”
“By faith the prostitute Rahab” became a hero and a saint…
By faith “weakness was turned to strength…”
“others were tortured and refused...” to give up…
Some “were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword…”