One of my favorite stories to tell revolved around the early days of Southern Seminary. The future of the school was very much in uncertainty but the founders came together and made a pact that the school might very well die but they were going to die first. What they meant was that while the founders trusted in God with the school, they would do all things necessary to see the school make it and not die on their watch. If you have been around RVC for any amount of time you know that we have strived to take this same mentality with our collective work as we have declared that RVC might die but we die first. The question then for us is if we are going to die first what does that entail? And the answer to that big question is actually pretty simple as we die first by living for Christ. Below are a few ways that I am hoping that we live for Christ as a church family:
1. Live for Christ by being Faithful. Even though as a church we have big ambitions of seeing the gospel advance from us to the very ends of the Earth, how we go about fulfilling our ambitions is by being found faithful in the little. God has given each of us different gifts and abilities, and if we are going to live for Christ there is a requirement that we will work hard to be faithful with what has been given to us. Churches often die first when her members cease to be faithful.
2. Live for Christ by being Committed. If we are going to live for Christ and see the work of RVC continue on after our time is done we need to be a committed people. In the culture in which we live, commitment is not highly valued but it is of great importance in the Scriptures. When we are living for Christ we are committed to doing things like reading and obeying the Scriptures, praying, being at the Sunday services, actively connecting with others in the church throughout the week, and being involved in serving, among others.
3. Live for Christ by being Sacrificial. To live for Christ is to follow Christ into a place of sacrifice. The entire message of our faith is based on sacrifice so it would make sense that we would be willing to make sacrifices. To point back again to the story of Southern Seminary the founders did not simply say they would die first but they were willing to make deep and great sacrifices to see the school continue on. A willingness to live a life of sacrifice is one of the common threads that runs through many of the great events throughout church history as God worked through His sacrificial people to do great things.
4. Live for Christ by being Joyful. This is tied to the message of our faith as our Lord Jesus went to the cross to die with much joy. Even though the declaration that “we die first” is a heavy call it is a call that leads us to finding true life and true joy. It was even Jesus who said in Matthew 16, “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Friends, may we be joyfully excited to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel and to see the work of Red Village Church continue on for years to come!