“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” -2 Thess.1:11-12 NKJV
There Private Ryan stood, an old man now, before the cross at the grave of his dead Captain.
Captain John H. Miller had given up his life to find and save Private Ryan years before and now he stood before Captain Miller’s gravestone trembling.
He wasn’t sure he could even come back to the place where Miller gave his life. He wondered if he had led a worthy life. A good life. A life that said Captain Miller’s life wasn’t sacrificed in vain. He had been given freed by Captain Miller, but that freedom came at a mighty price. He knew it. It weakened his ability to stand, but it also motivated him to honor the sacrifice with his life.
This is EXACTLY what happens to me every time I stand before the cross of my Captain. The Captain of all captains.
He isn’t dead, but His cross reminds me that He had to suffer and die a terrible death and that His sacrifice was more costly than I can ever repay. I can’t earn what He did for me, but while I stand remembering the cost, I tremble and desire to live a life that honor’s His sacrifice. I owe my life to HIM. It’s not about earning salvation, it’s about living a life that honors the One who died to save me.
That’s why I can’t indulge my flesh without overwhelming shame. That’s why I MUST teach my kids the truth.
I want to be able to look at the people in my life and know they’ll be able to say my life honored the cross of my Captain. I want them to see His life laid down causing me to live. But even more than the assesment of the people in my life is what God would say about me. Would He say I’ve lived a life worthy, a life that honors Christ?
Unlike Ryan, my hope is not that my life will ever be enough… I know my life will never be enough. I know I can never earn what my Captain has done for me, but His cross compels me to live a life that honors Him.