“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8
I love the ending of the movie Saving Private Ryan. You may remember the scene, an elderly man stands in front of a grave marker, the man is Private Ryan, the tombstone belongs to Captain Jim Miller. Captain Miller was the platoon leader who gave his life for the safe return of Private Ryan to his family. As the scene unfolds, Ryan, the elderly gentleman is deep in thought. His wife asks him if he is okay. His response is a passionate plea: “Tell me I am a good man. Tell me I have lived a good life.”
Ryan wanted to know that he had not wasted his life. As though he could hear Millers dying words to him: “Don’t waste this.” The movie only indicates how Ryan lived his life, we don’t get to see the details but are only given a hint that he lived with fidelity, stewardship and honor for those who paid the ultimate price for his life. He was consumed with one motivation because of the sacrifice Miller and others made.
I love how this story shows us a picture of how Jesus gave His life for ours and we are compelled to life a good life for Him, to “not waste it.” The truth of what Jesus did for us is often too much for us to handle. To think about how God the Father carefully, methodically engineered the sacrifice of His son on the cross because He loves me is beyond anything else I have experienced or can grasp. This kind of love is incredible. When we embrace it and personalize it we are eternally transformed. This kind of love embraced changes our motivation in all that we do every day of our lives.
“And he died for all that those who live should not live for themselves but for him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 1 Cor 5:15
Take a few moments today and ask the Lord to show you what motivates your choices? Is it the love of God? The cross?