Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What Will People Say About You?

I have not been able to get the sermon from church out of my mind all week, which is really a good thing. My pastor preached on Philippians 1:21: “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I really can’t get that verse out of my mind, it is so profound.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Green Bay Packers fan; you will find me in my Brett Favre jersey whenever the Packers are playing. Such was the case last night as I sat down for a great Monday Night Football match up between the Packers and the Rams. This was not just any ordinary Monday night game; this was Brett’s 200th consecutive start, which is a major feat.

Throughout the game there was a lot of talk about what Brett has accomplished and what kind of a guy he is. They talked a lot about how he is dealing with his wife’s cancer, how he spends time with Make a Wish Foundation kids and just what an all around great guy he is. He is married to his high school sweetheart, he is an amazing father and husband and he is one of the greatest football players of all time. They always talk about how amazing his football feats are, how no one can pass like Brett, no one loves football like Brett or how he simply lives for football.

Now, I love Brett Favre and from what I have heard, he is a Christian, but that is not what I heard about last night. From what the announcers were saying, you would think for Brett, to live is football. I am not saying that is the truth in his case, but that is what he is probably going to be remembered for. That is so unfortunate.

I really sat thinking about my kids, and the people I work with and all the people that follow Stand True and the work we do. I thought about some of the cool things I have accomplished in my life and things that people know me for. I asked myself, what do I live for? Do I live for Stand True? Do I live for traveling around the country giving speeches and doing pro-life work? Or do I live for Christ? If there were TV announcers talking about my life, what would they say?

For years my friends and people I know through work have referred to me as many things. I can’t tell you how many times I would walk through a concert or festival in the past and hear people say, “Hey, that was the Rock For Life guy.” People would refer to me as the “pro-life guy.” I was known for the guy who was on Politically Incorrect, or the guy they saw on TVU. None of these things are bad things, especially if God uses them to reach people.

I began to look at my work with Stand True and how important it is that we put Christ first in what we are doing. I don’t want it to ever be said that “for Bryan to live is pro-life.” That would be worthless to me. I know I am called to do pro-life work, but that work must be Christ-centered.

The pro-life message is not a message about scientific facts and taking a stand against procedures. The pro-life message is not just “compatible” with Christ; it is absolutely, 100 % dependant on the truth and Gospel of Christ. Christ is the foundation of everything, and if we try to build on any other foundation we will fail. God is the creator of every single life and He gives every human person a soul, which is why abortion is wrong. It is wrong because we are destroying God’s precious life, His heritage.

The pro-life message must contain the Gospel of Christ, because that is where life truly comes from. We can stop a woman from having an abortion, but what about her soul? We can save a baby’s life, but what about his soul? What good are all our efforts, if they are not grounded and centered on the truth? In all honesty, we will never save a single life, Christ will. We will never save a single baby, God will. In all we do, we are able to do it because of Christ.

“For me, to live is Christ”; wow, what a powerful and demanding verse. Like I said, I cannot get that verse out of my mind and I hope I never do. If for some odd reason there is ever a highlight reel on my life like I saw for Brett, I hope it ends with one thing, “for Bryan, to live was Christ.” When people talk about Stand True, I pray they say, “For Christ they stood.”

For Christ I stand,

Bryan Kemper

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