A Graceful Death

I posted a video recently about the death of Zac Smith. If you haven’t seen it I encourage you to. He entered into the presence of Jesus on May 16, 2010.

http://vimeo.com/9796056

The life and words of Zac Smith are a powerful testimony to the grace of God. Although Zac was not healed physically of his cancer, it had nothing to do with Zac’s faith. Submission to God’s will is a demonstration of faith. Trusting that God’s will is perfect and better than your own understanding is faith. We pray for healing, and we pray for healing expectantly in the mighty power of Jesus name. But, our will should be to do the will of our Father just as Jesus did.

Sometimes, to be like Christ, is to walk triumphantly into death… just as He did.

In my One Year Bible read this morning, the story of Lazarus was the New Testament passage. It is a story of healing and God’s will, for our benefit.

Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me. John 11: 41-42

Everything Jesus did was in submission to what the Father told Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was faced with death, He prayed that it would not come to pass.

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

Healing is based on the will of the Father, not the will of man. Our prayers are to align our will with His, not to align God’s will with ours.

In the video Zac says, “If God choses to heal me, then God is God, and God is good. If God choses not to heal me and allows me to die, God is still God, and God is still good.” With that statement, Zac not only acted in faith, he stared death in the face and said…

Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15:55

The power of God’s love was demonstrated by sacrificing His own son, so that a world that rejects Him would not have to suffer death eternally. Zac represents these Christ like qualities. Now that Zac has experienced God’s grace and salvation, his death and testimony will save others. It takes a seed to die, before it can sprout and birth a plant that will produce fruit.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24

Jesus speaks to His death. Rather than saving himself, He knew His death would save us, and bring glory to the Father.

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12: 27-28

There is grace in the death of a Christ follower, because it furthers the message of Jesus and prevents others from eternal death. God uses both healing and death to glorify His name.

We should pray for healing expectantly, but not overlook the power of God to glorify Himself through death. If our lives are seeds, and the death of our self becomes the birthplace of salvation, then may we die to ourselves daily. Whether we lay it down our life as a living sacrifice, or God takes it at His will, we are to walk with the faith that God is in control and performing His perfect will.

It took the death of a friend for John Mark McMillan to write the song How He Loves. A song that would sweep the world and speak of the love of Christ. His friend become such a seed, such a life laid down, to became a catalyst for revival. Some bring heaven to earth by physically leaving here and going there.

It takes martyrs for movement. It takes great sacrifice, for great movement. If we aspire to see great acts of God, we must aspire to give our lives and surrender them over to God. Even unto death.

I am thankful for the life and testimony of Zac Smith.

All glory to God.


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