Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gospel Better Than Life

“Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” Psalm 63:3

Dear Congregation,
       It is very difficult for anyone to measure the value something compared to life itself. Many who speak on such matters do so without serious thought or without ever having faced the challenge. Realistically, a parent may value their child’s life above their own, a soldier may give his life to save his comrades, yet even there the choice is not without inconceivable weight. Even still it is not a constant value for every parent or soldier. We value self and life so much that for the vast majority of people nothing can take precedence. And yet, the Scripture repeatedly challenges our selfishness and directs us to that which is definitively of more value than our lives; the love of God.

            The Lord Jesus tells us to give up our lives for Him, to die to our self, to give up parents and children for His sake. He does not say this to teach that life is worthless or meaningless, on the contrary, he says it to show the value of the everlasting life that comes through Him. If you are clinging to something that is temporary, even your own existence, then you miss the power and gift of the Gospel. The Psalmist, quoted above, says that God’s lovingkindness is better than life itself. If anything is worth more than life its God’s love. If anything provides purpose, understanding, knowledge, and fulfillment, its God’s love. How can we pursue our own glory when we know that it will never last? How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? The beauty of God’s love is that it is better than life because it is eternal life.

            Where is God’s love ever made more clear than on the cross? The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ gave up His life and suffered the curse of sin, death, and hell in your place because of His lovingkindness. That lovingkindess on his part was of more value than His own life. When the Christian dies to self, is born again, and gives up all to follow Christ, he or she gains all the riches of heaven and eternity. Certainly of more value than 100 years on earth. The Psalmist declares that he will praise the Lord for this love, for the Gospel. May we be of that mind as well. May we say with Job, that we will trust in Him even if he slays us, because there is no other. Eternal life is more precious than anything. Christ has given us that and all that comes with it because of His lovingkindness. May we always remember that this is better and more precious than earthly life.

In Christ,

Pastor Basile