Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Wanted: Dead and Alive!
Romans 6:11 (ESV)
The Bible has a lot to say about life and death. It had to for this world teaches us all the wrong things about it. This world says that we should grab all that we can get as if real life existed in this world. The Bible tells us that this world is fading away. The world teaches that keeping all that you can keep means you will have more. The Bible reveals that giving all that you have means you will have more. The world says that real happiness is when you have everything you want. The Bible says that joy is more important than happiness. Joy comes from peace- not possessions.
Even people who professed to be believers get this so mixed up. They think that their giving to the church (or to God- this depends on their point of view) will mean God will make their lives sweet and plentiful on the earth. They do not understand that God is working on making them wealthy in heaven, not in this world. He is working on their faith.
Still, some say that they have faith but they have no evidence of their faith. They do not give, serve sporadically and attend church when it is convenient. They do not confess, never repent and live lives very much like the unbelievers next door. They put Christian symbols on their cars and drive like a bat out of hell. They claim to know Christ yet as I hear them drop His name, their actions reveal that they do not have a clue who He is. James said, "So, faith without works is dead."
Death makes no sense to a lot of people. They cannot understand how they can be alive in Christ but dead to themselves. Their own understanding is that being alive in Christ must make them more alive to themselves. Death is the inability to respond to an outside stimulation. The flesh will never relinquish its ability to be stimulated. In fact, its desire for stimulation is insatiable. It is like the hamster in the wheel who runs harder but never gets anywhere. Every goal of stimulation which is met demands more.
Death is a totally different matter. Death makes us totally responsive to God rather than the stimulations of this world. What is this world will concern you when you are dead? Will it be your taxes? Will it be your bank account? Will it be what car you were driving before you died? No, the only things that will matter once you are dead are the things that you want to have with you. Those things will be the loved ones you knew in this world. You cannot make a decision for them but you can live a life of death which will reveal the life of Christ to them. Living a life for yourself will never lead someone to Christ. Hedonism is only good for a very short time.
And while I write this I know that I struggle with dying to sin. I still have pride and drool at big screen televisions. (However, dropping cable has made an enormously positive impact on my life this past year.) It seems that I am only dead to sin for short spurts. They are like breaths of air for a drowning man but I still can't seem to keep my head above the water.
So, my life today will be to commit myself to Christ. I will renounce my flesh and be filled with the Spirit. The only way to truly live is to be both dead and alive.