Jesus said, ” “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it. For what good does it do a person if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25 NASB)
There are many deaths in this life. Some are easier than others. There is the death of your own preference when giving hospitality to those who don’t eat the way you do. There is the relinquishing of control when working with your teammates on a project. There is the giving up of your right to be right when facing an adversary. Then there is the loss of your favorite hobby when your body begins to betray you with aging joints and lack of stamina. And, too, there is the loss of a loved one, and ultimately your own passing from this life to the next.
The taking up of our cross daily is our willingness to die in all these ways. When we trust Him to rule and reign in our lives, when we allow Him total access to our hearts, we are free to die to ourselves daily and live the abundant supernatural life He promises. We get to live the authentic self we were made to be. Not forfeited, but rather a new purchased creation in Christ Jesus. There are mysteries at work here. Losing to gain. Forgiving to be made whole. Surrendering to be made right. Bowing to be exalted. Dying to live forevermore.
“Wherever I go, thank God, he makes my life a constant pageant of triumph in Christ, diffusing the perfume of his knowledge everywhere by me. I live for God as the fragrance of Christ breathed alike on those who are being saved and on those who are perishing….” (2 Corinthians 2:14–15 Moffatt)
Only God can make your life a trophy of His grace and a fragrance of His truth. Every death we choose, believing God, is a doorway to resurrection life. In our dying, He is lifted up, and when He is lifted up, He draws men to Himself.
Dear one, where in your life do you need to be dying well? Are there places in your heart where you are still on the throne? Are there parts of your life you are still trying to control? Give in and give up. Let the King of Glory come in and have His way. The benefits are beyond anything this life has to offer. He came to set the captive free. And you will never be truly free until He delivers you from your own desire to have it your way.
Until next week, beloved, live free in Christ and die well, daily.