Monday, July 20, 2020

A Better Way to Die?

When I was a young boy and the cold war was predominate in the news, I dreamed of being lined up by the Communist firing squad and asked "Do you believe in God?"  To which I would say, "yes," and instantly be shot and die for the Lord.  However, it didn't happen.   Gradually God revealed to me that there is a better way to die for Him, and it is not a one time event.  He who loses his life for My sake will find it. 

 We "lose our life" every time we let go of our own thoughts, our emotions, and our wants. Usually this requires a sacrifice of our time and something we hold dear (consider Abraham laying down his own son on the altar).   Sometimes at funerals we use Scriptures like Psalm 115:16, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."  However, much more than when we physically die, it is precious in His sight each time we die to our own "rights" and selfish nature.  Seek to please Him first.  

God is infinitely pleased with every choice and action in which we deny ourselves and bless others.  The one who was faithful in investing the talents given is the one  to whom the master said, "Well done."   You will not lose your reward for even a cup of water!  In 1 Peter 3: 9 the Holy Spirit reminds us that we are called "to bless that we might receive the blessing."  Notice what Jesus points out in the parable of the sheep and the goats, "what you do to others, you do to Me." 

When we take time to draw near to God and begin worshipping Him, He inhabits our praises and allows His perfect love to fill our hearts and His truth to transform our minds, so our only honest response is to willingly lay down our life.  The meaning of worship is to bow down and freely give ourselves in service before the Almighty.  The Lord takes such great joy in seeing  us humbly lay down our life, that He gives grace and the fresh enabling power of the Spirit to do what He asks.  Romans 8:13 further promises, "If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the flesh, you will live. 

Choose life.  Choose to die to the flesh.  Choose to surrender your thoughts, your emotions, and your wants in order to open up to His infinite thoughts, to have HIs heart and emotions, and to do His perfect will.  This is the better way to die: to lose your life, and find His life.  You are precious in God's sight each time you choose to die to yourself and live for Him. 

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