Mundane Monday: Beautiful Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colossians 2:6-10

“Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness 8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, 10  and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”

Colossians 3:3-6

3 “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 5  So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. “

When we hear the words philosophy and tradition, what is our first reaction?  *Yawn*.  Well, to be honest, I confess I love to discuss deep thoughts and perspectives and to analyze why we do what we do.  Isn’t it a blessing to know, though, that being in Christ is not contingent upon recitations of sayings or following a set of rules?  No, our relationship with Christ is vibrant and full of life.

This invitation to the greatest adventure known at first blush does not sound very appealing.  Come, die.   Die to self, die to your former ways.  Until you discover the beauty in this death.  The freedom to walk away from sin and to invite God Himself to indwell us and to enable us to live for His glory.  Unparalleled joy, beyond comparison.

When we first die to our flesh, our flesh cries out, complaining about having to do so.  The argument about the Christian life being boring begins to try to tempt our souls that it is unbearable to have to discipline our flesh.  But wisdom reveals that our flesh is not our friend.

All the time wasted listening to our flesh crying out about what it wants, when the inner man longs for what is really our joy – time with Christ.  What joy was found in disobedience?  What grief and sorrow have been born from choosing to walk after the things of this world?  Seems hardly worth it now.

But time with Jesus is sweeter than any other vocation on this earth and satisfies our souls long after the temporary satisfaction of pleasing the flesh does.  This God of the universe chose to live in us!  That, my friend, is far more exhilarating than anything else this world has to offer.

Lord, help us to be filled with your joy when the world makes us feel like fools.  Whatever sacrifice we have offered pales in comparison to Your sacrifice and the greatness and privilege of walking with You.  

Called to Die

Somehow we were tricked into thinking that this Christian life was to be a cushy one.

Romans 8:5-6, 12-13

5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.

I do not imagine that many of us, when we came to Christ, were eager to die.  We had just been given eternal live – death was probably not on our minds.  Somehow we were tricked into thinking that this Christian life was to be a cushy one.  No pain, rose-tinted glasses, maybe even prosperity.  Certainly not suffering or hardship.

Where was the disconnect?  Christ made it clear that in this world we would have trouble.  That we would be hated because of Him.  Not much of a salesman, it seems.  He said we would have to carry our own cross, too.  Who would want to follow that plan?  Perhaps it is because of our view of death.

The flesh wants us to live for self.  We want to live!  God placed eternity in our souls – a desire to continue past this space and time, but the way our lives are lived might be the problem.  It is all about us – our pleasure, our peace, our way – until the LORD opens our eyes to see.  To really see.  Not just a temporary view of our fallen nature, but the realization that there truly is no good thing in our corrupt flesh.

The grace of God enters and we are changed.  Over time we can forget what we were saved from and begin to think the righteousness was our own, God forbid.  Why would we be redeemed and then called to die?  Because living for self means we do not see the hurt all around us.  Living for self means we are not living for the Kingdom of God.  When we accepted that free gift of salvation, it was a call to die and live solely for Jesus and His glorious kingdom.

Die, friend.  In the best sense of the word.  Dying to self means we are alive in Christ.  Live sold out to Jesus, available to His call and make the flesh submit to His will – You belong to Him.

Lord, help us to not lose the sight and understanding You gave us.  We want to be used by You – effective to minister to others all for Your glory.  Thank You for dying for us, LORD.  We will never be worthy of all You have done for us.