I love to watch movies, especially war movies. I did not serve, but come from a long line of soldiers, including my dad. I am always amazed and deeply moved by the lengths men will go to protect one another. Men, who did not know one another before being thrust into battle with one another, will give their lives for one another and deeply mourn when one of their “buddies” dies.

One of my favorite war movies is “Saving Private Ryan”, the story of a small band of soldiers who reluctantly follow orders to find and extract the single survivor of 4 brothers – the other three brothers were killed in action. They find the remaining brother and enter into a suicidal mission to hold a bridge before they can return with him. In the end, almost all of the band of rescuers dies. In a riveting scene, the squad leader forces his final words through his final breaths. He says to Private Ryan, “Earn this.”

The crazy thing about God’s grace and mercy is that it was given before I deserved it. Like those soldiers, Jesus gave his life for me in advance of my reaction to it. I did not, and cannot “earn” (in any way) what he willingly did for me. He gave himself freely and I do not deserve the gift. Besides, can you “earn” something that was already given?

Yet, I am compelled to try to live up to the gift. Not to try to merit the gift, but to try to do my best to make sure that (for my life) it was not a gift in vain.

Regarding this merciful gift, David Crowder, in the song “Surely We Can Change” says:

And the problem is this:
We were bought with a kiss
But the cheek still turned
Even when it wasn’t hit.

And I don’t know
What to do with a love like that
And I don’t know
How to be a love like that.

So, what do we do with it? What do we do with that love?

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:47)

The song goes on to say:

And all the love in the world
Is right here among us
And hatred too
So we must choose
What our hands will do

Where there is pain
Let there be grace
Where there is suffering
Bring serenity
For those afraid
Help them be brave
Where there is misery
Bring expectancy

And surely we can change
Surely we can change

What can I do? Love God, love one another, and pass it on.

In His grip,

Pastor Herb

6 thoughts on “earn.this”

  1. I try my best to make sure that the gift I have been given was not given to me in vain. There is not much I can really add to this post because it says it all. I think you summarized it in your last statement: Love God, love one another, and pass it on.

    1. Thanks for posting, Michael. "Love God, love one another, and pass it on." is our mission statement for Thrive Church. I am always amazed at how God gave us that statement and how it continues to challenge us to live His way.

      My recent post earn.this

  2. In love, we are called to love. Not because of what we have done, but because of what God has done for us. His gift of love transforms us. By the very nature of His love for me, I am filled with a desire to love others. I will never be worthy of what He has done for me, but I will do my best to honor His gift.

    My recent post A Crown of Life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *