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Life And Death

Have you listened to the radio lately? No, not just listening to the beats or enjoying background noise. Have you heard the words being spoken to our American culture? Consider the following lyrics:

“Maybe we’ve been livin’ with our eyes half open

Maybe we’re bent and broken, broken

We want more than this world’s got to offer

We want more than this world’s got to offer

We want more than the wars of our fathers

And everything inside screams for second life, yeah

We were meant to live for so much more

Have we lost ourselves?” (Meant to Live by Switchfoot)

“I’ve got it all, but I feel so deprived

I go up, I come down, and I’m emptier inside

Tell me what is this thing that I feel like I’m missing

and why can’t I let it go?

There’s gotta be more to life

than chasing out every temporary high to satisfy me” (More to Life by Stacie Orrico)

Even though these artists are Christian, they are enjoying mainstream success because of these songs. They both have the same message: “Life can be more.” As Christians, we’ve heard it before. We can quote John 10:10 about Jesus coming to bring us “abundant life.” But, honestly, do we live a fulfilled life? Don’t we too often chase the “temporary high to satisfy” like everyone else?

I don’t know what God uses to grab your attention and scream, “Life can be more than what you are making it!” But I can tell you what God used in mine.

When I was 17 years old, my father died. I was a senior in high school. He died during Christmas break. The last time I remember seeing him, he was in a comatose state. I told him that I loved him, but I don’t know if he heard it.

What shattered my heart most was that my father died a non-believer.

This single event has shaped my life ever since. I chose to go into ministry because of it. My wife and I had a child soon into our marriage so I could spend as much time with my child as possible. It has become a reason I reach out to others.

Solomon gave this advice about life: “It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool thinks only about having a good time now” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 NLT).

If you heed his advice, you will understand one of the great paradoxes of God—death produces life.

And maybe you’ll live out the words of another song pounding on the radio today …

“And I loved deeper,

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And I spoke sweeter,

And I gave forgiveness I’ve been denying,

And he said someday I hope you get the chance,

To live like you were dying.’” (Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw)

Dig Deeper:

The book of Ecclesiastes, which holds the wisdom of sorrow

The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis’ imaginative version of a place between heaven and hell where humans choose for or against God John 12:24

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