From Kevin Funk…
My last blog had a patriotic theme woven into it via ground zero. During this Fourth of July season I would like to continue to pledge my allegiance to the freedom we all have through our God who has given it to us. But I’d also like to take this a step further.
I would like to honor the two men that died last week in Pekin with this blog. I don’t know these guys personally, but I want to focus on the way they took their final breaths. These two men were working on top of a rail tanker car on the railroad. One of the men opened the hatch and some carbon monoxide gas escaped out of the hatch and knocked the man unconscious. He then fell into the tanker filled with the gas. The other man saw his co-worker fall into the tanker and was now faced with a decision. Do I call for help, or should I try to save him myself? Well his next moments would define who he was as a person. He jumped right into that tanker full of carbon monoxide to save his co-worker but the fumes overtook him pretty quickly and he soon became unconscious as well. Neither of these men made it out alive. One of these men showed the greatest act of love that anyone on this earth could show. Sacrificing your own life for the sake of another. John 15:13 says – There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
I do pray that both of these men were believers. Either way, the selfless act that one of these men would pay the ultimate price to save his friend’s life makes me ask the question if I would do the same in a similar situation. Would you? There have been thousands of men and women who have died, not just for this country, but for one another. Anyone in the military who has taken a bullet for someone else, or jumped on a grenade to protect others, or just simply made a decision to go the extra mile while walking with or carrying a wounded soldier knows of this kind of greater love.
Just before I wrote this blog I talked with my daughter about the tragedy of the two men and the rail tanker. We had a good conversation about John 15:13 and what that looked like. I asked her if she would do the same as that man who tried to rescue his friend. Then I asked her what if it was your best friend who fell in there. She’s like “of course!” What if it were someone you didn’t know? “Well, that’s a tough one” she said.
There is one man who knows of this greater love and lives to tell about it. His name is Jesus. He didn’t just die on the cross for his followers and friends, but also for the people that hated him! Even the ones that spit on him and gambled for His clothing as He was gasping for His final few breaths. Jesus died for ALL of us. He has not only died for us, but created a way for us to be with Him in Heaven someday. This plan, if you choose to believe, will give you a new life!
Ephesians 4:21-24 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. AMEN!