Life is like perishable food – you either use it or lose it, said the former Baptist preacher turned politician Mike Huckabee to students at Liberty University on Monday.
In a sermon given during the school's chapel service, Huckabee told an amusing story about his middle child David when he was younger. At three years old, his son had turned off the freezer and all the food had thawed forcing his parents to make the choice between either cooking all the food and giving it to friends and neighbors or throwing it away.
The Huckabees decided to cook everything and serve their co-workers and neighbors. At the end of the night, Huckabee thought hard about what God was trying to teach him and realized that just like the food in the freezer, life was also perishable.
"The truth about perishables is this - you either use it or lose it," Huckabee said, according to a video made available by Liberty University. "You either give it away or throw it away. And to be like Jesus means that when it ultimately comes down to it we are like Him in that we don't throw away our lives we give our lives away."
Throwing away one's life is like investing in things that won't last, said Huckabee, who is also a Fox News political commentator. Those who follow Jesus don't throw their life away to "silly, dumb, valueless things," but rather give their life in service, sacrifice, in selflessness to other people.
Reading from Philippians 2, Huckabee preached about what it looks like to be Jesus with the sermon title "To Be Like Jesus is Okay!" Jesus is an encourager, selfless, humble, and modeled what serving means.
Many people, Huckabee said, want to be someone else and they pick a hero and practice to be like that person. People have inferiority complexes and that is why they want to be somebody else because they don't feel they are good enough, or smart enough, or able enough to do certain things, Huckabee said.
"We all live like that and it's not terrible to want to be like someone else depending who that someone else is," he said. "But sometimes I'm afraid we end up wanting to be like the wrong people.
"There's one person that it's ok to want to be like and that is if you want to be like Jesus. That's ok," said the former Republican presidential candidate. "Unfortunately a lot of people don't grow up necessarily wanting to be like Jesus, they want to be like everybody but Jesus."
He also emphasized the importance of accepting one's uniqueness.
"He has given you not only a physical DNA but he has given you a spiritual DNA that is unique to you and unlike anyone else who has ever lived in the entire world," Huckabee said. "God's purpose for you is only for you. For you to try to be completely like someone else is to defy your physical and spiritual DNA. And it would never work."
For part of the message, the former Arkansas governor spoke about how Christians should interpret the economic downturn from a faith perspective. He said this crisis may be "the greatest opportunity for spiritual revolution" in his lifetime as people understand the "emptiness of stuff and the fullness of Christ."
"Do you know the greatest value of knowing Jesus Christ is that somebody can steal everything you have - Bernie Madoff can make off with the last dime you ever made - but if you know Jesus Christ no one can reach into your heart and steal everlasting life from you," Huckabee declared to Liberty's students. "But if your life is tied to something invested on Wall Street, God help you because it can disappear tomorrow.
"If your life is invested in something eternal, then nobody can steal that. … That is why following Jesus makes a whole lot of more sense than living your whole life just to be rich or to be famous," he said. "Those things are fleeting but Jesus is not; it is the only thing worth living for."
Huckabee's message at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., was the last of four events he spoke at in the Lynchburg-area starting from Sunday. Earlier on Monday, he spoke to hundreds of pastors about the Christian Values Network, an organization that allows Christians to contribute to their favorite charity or church by shopping online and making purchases they normally would.
On the Web: www.cvn.org