Dying daily

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16‬:‭24‬-‭27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Dying daily

We are living in a world where it is stressed that one can “have it all,” or “have it your way.” It is as if the whole of humanity is in a headlong rush to win the race of accumulation of experiences and stuff, failing to realize that the grave awaits and all that has been gained in this life will be lost.

We hold nothing back from ourselves, for whatever we view as pleasurable, is in our eyes, permissible, regardless of what, or who has to be sacrificed. The really sad reality, is that this has also invaded the church. There are pastors who dream of huge, full churches, many butts in the pews, and many faces trained on him.

There is little regard for the spiritual state of the person in the pew, but only glee that they are there and contributing to the what the pastor considers success. I tell you the truth, when that pastor appears before the Bema seat of Christ, the Lord is not going to be concerned with the attendance.

Little of the preaching is aimed at holiness, for those who have given themselves over to the flesh might find it offensive. The pulpit is the front line in teaching Christians how to die daily, for it is the place of example.

One thing that is not valued in all of society these days, is the willingness to lay aside ones own desires, to die to self daily. They idea of delayed gratification is a foreign concept, often even amongst those who profess to be Christians, and contend to ones looking forward to eternity.

Thanks be to God, that we have been given One to serve as our example, this Lord Jesus Christ, who laid aside the glory He knew with the Father, to step down to earth, born into humble flesh, to live as one of us, to die as one of us, and to bear our sins on the cross.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV

Through thirty odd years, He eschewed His power, fully available, opting to live life in humiliation. He demonstrated for us a life yielded to the purposes of the Gospel, for HIs mission to come and save us was far more pressing than holding on to the glory He knew with the Father.

Even now, He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, and He is not in the form He knew before, but He is still in the form of His creation. Because of His sacrifice, He is eternally changed.

Coming to Christ is a transformative shift for one born again. Those who are sincere and truly converted, lay aside the lives they once knew, and become new creations. It does not happen out of compulsion, but by the overwhelming influence of God in us, the Holy Spirit, our holy interface with our God.

As we grow in the faith, what is flesh is thrown away, and we have a deepening desire for what is spiritual.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

It changes every aspect of our lives, our music, our entertainment choices, and even the people we hang around with. Just as we are being changed inward, so too are we outward, for those who knows can see the change in our behavior.

It is not uncommon for the who have known us before Jesus to be amazed as the Lord begins to build and foster spiritual gifts and even talents that we use in the service of the Lord. To many of them, this faith, now dominating our lives will seem like foolishness, for those who are of the world are filled with worldly wisdom.

“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.””
I Corinthians 1:26-31 NKJV

Brothers and sisters, there can be great pressure in standing for Jesus before the world, and choosing to take up ones cross, choosing to forsake the pleasures of this world, for the promise of eternal treasure in Heaven. I tell you the truth the battle is hard, for everything in our culture pushes us toward pleasure. Actively choosing to obey God can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As followers of Jesus, we surrender daily to His will, seeking after Him, reading His word, praying, and filling our minds with those things that are of God and not of man.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV

By abiding in the Lord, the things that we desire will move from the satisfaction of our flesh, to what is pleasing to God. Our walk will change, and our very countenance will move from the fleshly to the spiritual as we begin to show the fruit of the Spirit in every aspect of our lives.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV

Let us be reminded that we hav been crucified with Christ. That old man is now dead, and in the grave. We have been raised into newness of life, and given the power, through there Lord Jesus, to resist the desires of the flesh. We must always keep that in mind, for the old man loves to stick his putrid fingers out of the dirt to stink the place up.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 NKJV

There is coming a day when we will no longer strive with he flesh, for we who have called upon the Lord for salvation will be glorified, made new. There will be no more sin.

Let us walk in the here and now, circumspectly, walking closely with the Lord, for our time is short and we are looking forward to the blessed hope of the appearing of the Lord.







One thought on “Dying daily

  1. Oh, what a glorious day “that will be, Jesus is coming again!” Praise our great and holy God! He has done, but I did not have the strength to do in my own power. My family of origin has noticed a significant change in me from before my salvation. As hard as I tried in my own power, I could not do this. once again, it’s only a holy and righteous God that could give us newness of life. Thank you so much for your great encouragement, Bernie!

    Liked by 1 person

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