Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dying to Truly Live

December 23, 2004. Standing at my father's gravesite, I was reminded of a sermon I once heard.

The pastor was preaching on "dying to self" and to drive his point home, he asked the following question:

"How do you know you are truly dead?"

After a short pause, he answered his own question.

" When people can throw dirt on you and it doesn't even faze you."

Dying to self. I'm sure you would agree this is one of the hardest, most painful things Christ calls us to do. And yet, it is also one of the most loving. Think about it for a minute.

As long as self is alive, we are miserable. Selfishness doesn't bring joy or happiness to our life. It only delivers jealousy, envy and self-pity. Pride doesn't bring us satisfaction. It only keeps us keeping up with the Joneses. As long as self is alive we have a reputation to defend, an image to maintain, and feelings to keep happy.

The last year of my father's life was filled with sleepless nights, suffering and fear. He was alive, but far from living. He was a slave to his sickness, held prisoner by a body under attack.

But....

Once death came, he was set free. No more pain. No more suffering. No more fear. He was no longer touched by the things of this world. His death, while being one of the hardest and most painful things for me to accept, was a loving gift from God.

The same is true when, spiritually, we die to self. When we choose to let go and let God, we don't lose our life. No! We gain life. Life, and life more abundant! Once self is gone, dead, and buried, we are finally free.

And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. ~ Galatians 5:24, CEV

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:20, NLT

We now walk in newness of life. Christ is now living in us and through us. People can throw all the dirt at us and on us they wish, but if we are truly dead to self, and living in Christ, it won't even faze us! We are no longer slaves to our reputation, image or feelings. We are free to be Christ to the world. We are free to truly live!

Dying to self. One of the hardest, most painful things Christ calls us to do,......... but also, one of the most loving.

(Note: I wrote this for GRACEFUL SISTERS, but felt impressed to share it with my Heartprints of God readers, too.)

2 comments:

  1. AMEN I like the pastor respond, I heard a statement like this here it goes, how can you tell if a person have matured? When they don't act the way they use to.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well: www.nocondemnation81.blogspot.com

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a "heartprint" of your own.