Dying To Live
I was about nine-years-old when I first saw a dead person up-close. Some school kids heard an old woman in the neighborhood had just died. Morbid curiosity got the best of us. Before I knew it, we were making nervous tracks through a country dirt road and into the woman’s house.
The quick glimpse of death on her face scared me so fear followed me all the way home that day. My childish imagination ran wild. I couldn’t shake the dead woman’s face. And for days, I’d check under every bed for any sign of death lurking in my house.
It’s not just kids who get scared of death. Many adults can’t handle it either. You may be a faithful Christian who believes in the resurrection. But death is still a curious thing. It’s beyond man’s reach or control. Perhaps that’s what troubles us most. We can’t bear not being in control.
Spiritually, that may explain why so many Christians have such a hard time dying. For dying means relinquishing control of self. It signifies killing the flesh. And who really wants to do that? But die we must, if we really want to live.
In Matthew 16:25 Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Jesus Christ lived to die. That was his mission on earth. Now we must die to live. That’s our mission. To resurrect means to bring to life again. Since Christ raised us from the dead, we are now charged with resurrecting a dead world still trapped in sin. We do that by living a life dying to self.
John 12:24-25 reminds us of our need to die in order to help others live.“Very truly I tell you, 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.”
How many seeds are still waiting on you to die so they can germinate? How many sinners are waiting on you to resurrect them? Like my nine-year-old self, we usually run from death. But spiritual death is worth embracing, since it can offer life to so many.
The apostle Paul urged us to “mortify (kill) the deeds of the flesh.” That’s how we relinquish our will. Jesus agonized about it in the garden. He finally said, (Father) “not my will, but yours be done.” Dying demands sacrifice. Here’s evidence:
D- Disciplined prayer life. Rise early every morning. Make prayer the first order of business. Talk to God. Allow Him proper space and time to talk to you.
I – Include Holy Spirit. Be led by the comforter, guide and instructor. He teaches how to die to self and live unto God. Take on the fruit of His Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
E- Exhibit Christ. Follow Jesus’ perfect example. Walk in His footsteps. Publically display His love. That’s what draws sinners to God. They’re hungry for a taste of true love. It’s patient, kind. It doesn’t envy or boast. It’s not proud. It’s not rude. It’s not self-seeking. It’s not easily angered or offended. It keeps no record of wrongs. It doesn’t delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-6)
Such love means death of self.
As a nine-year-old child, mortal death scared the life out of me. Now I willingly die to live. How about you? It’s the only way some “dead man walking” in sin can glimpse Christ, the image and essence of true life.
Scripture Of The Day: “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:25 (NKJV)