Only Because of Jesus

Following the recent devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami on the island nation of Japan, the backup systems at the oldest nuclear power plant failed when the power went out, resulting in a radioactive nightmare.  In the midst of it all is a story that must not be missed – that of the workers who continue feverishly in their attempts to stop the meltdown so that the lives of the people of their land might be saved from fallout.

Theirs is a powerful tale of heroism, yet it is so much more.  Those who agreed to remain on the premises, as well as firefighters, electrical workers, etc., are exposing themselves to what will probably be lethal amounts of radiation.  At the least, they can expect radiation sickness. Quite likely, though, it is certain death.  Yet they have chosen to give their lives for the lives of others.

John 15:13 NIV  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Pondering the ultimate sacrifices they are making, I wonder if I’d do the same.  Since the possibility I will be called to give my physical life is pretty small, I think about all the little choices I’m given every day to lay down my life for others.  How often I choose myself, even in unimportant things.  I guess I should try harder, do more, and think differently.  A resounding NO!

John 3:30 NIV  He must become greater; I must become less.

Because I am in Christ Jesus, my focus is not to be on me and my self-efforts.  It’s to be on Jesus Christ and what He has already done!  He has already paid the price for my failures and successes – past, present, and future.  It’s only because of His sacrificial love that I am not condemned.  It’s only because of the grace He gives that I am enabled to yield my “rights” and my preferences so others might see and know Him, too.

With my focus readjusted, Jesus and His righteousness again become greater to me than all the wrong (and self-right) I see in myself.  When the focus is on Him, His life, and His love, He shines forth through me in whatever way is needed each moment.  Only because of Jesus!

Even as you consider this lesson for your life, please agree in prayer for all these workers – that they will receive the gift of eternal life Jesus has already provided for them, praying also for laborers to share this great gospel.