This past weekend I kept hearing, “die to yourself” over and over in my head. It just really stuck with me and I feel that I am led to tell expand on this a little to you. I know there’s areas of selfishness in my life that need to die so I may have more of Jesus. We all have areas of selfishness because we are human. We all have fleshly desires and at times those desires win over what God is calling us to do. That’s where the “die to yourself” steps in.
"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” - Luke 9:23-27
In marriages, parenthood, and relationships they will not work out if you’re only thinking of yourself. Just like your relationship with Jesus. I mean, you can give half of yourself to Jesus, but you will only receive half of him in return. My pastor always says, “You have as much as God as you want. The relationship you have with him now is how much you have pursued him.”
When we die to ourselves, we find him. It can seem kind of scary laying all that you are down at the feet of Jesus but I promise you this; death leads to life. We cannot live for ourselves and God at the same time. We cannot live for our own kingdoms, own rules, and independent righteousness then expect to receive God. That’s not how it works. Coming to Jesus is not a negotiation, contract, or an agreement. Coming to Jesus is a death, your death. Jesus died so that you and I may live, now he asks you find life in him. Not in man or in this world. But in him, only him.
We are in the way of having eternal life if we refuse to die to ourselves. It is almost like we have a tendency to act like we’re smarter than God. Like we love our own lives more than we love the life that he has planned for us. There is no outsmarting God and his plans are greater than the ones we could ever make for ourselves. I know all of this can come off a little strong, but this is me trying to push you in the right direction so you can reach your full potential in your walk with Jesus. If someone doesn’t rescue us from our delusions about our lives, we will lose our lives.
"And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him."
Grace is out to kill us, but when we die to old lives, grace gives us life. This grace is the same grace God gave to us by bringing his own son down to earth knowing it would result in death. Jesus died so we could live, the least we could do is live our lives devoted to him. We are only truly living when we're living our lives for Jesus. He is who brings us to life. Real, abundant and eternal life.
“By calling you to die daily, the gospel welcomes you live eternally. Contrary to popular opinion, fealty really is the portal to life.”
— Paul David Tripp
It can be hard giving up some things we "love" or "desire" but just think of wonderful things God has for us. We don’t have to fight the death of our old lives, but go on in celebration for what God has to planned out for us in our new lives. This new life given to us is only done by grace and grace alone. This is an everyday walk. We will not always achieve this, but we should be striving for this each moment of everyday.
Praying that you were blessed by this message and that you have a great week!