Tuesday, March 11, 2008
A book i am reading has brought to my attention the lost art of dying of ones self for the advancement of the Gospel. I know what your thinking, "Getting stoned to death for Christ or being shot for my Faith isnt going to happen in the US." Yes, you may be correct, but there are ways to die to one's self that is not physical. All of my life i have lived for others, even when Christ is not the center. But when i live for others without Christ in the middle, i tend to live for their image of who they think i am or i tend to be a people pleaser. A promulgator of appeasement to others, if you will. Now to think that i can DIE to this part of me for the sake of the gospel is not a new concept, but it is one that must be revisited if i am to maintain Christ in the center. Without suffering my place in popularity, i will never be a true Christ follower. Christ calls us to die to ourselves and take up the cross. I think that this means we should die to the old man, die to the things that hold us back from intimacy with Christ. This may mean suffering in some kind of way, whether it is physical or socially. Maybe it means one must remove his self from worldly popularity and becoming as a pauper to the princes so to speak. Maybe we need to die to our own selfish ambitions and swallow our pride. This rings home for myself as a strong willed, independently defiant sinner. Too often i look to my needs first, too often i want to do what i want to do. This leads me to my current state of being. Due to my selfishness and lack of dying to myself, i am currently in a barren desert of spirituality, wandering for the crystal clear waters of the pure love found in Christ. Intimacy is what i long for, but i have forsaken my love for Christ for love of the world. If Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice to move me from darkness to light, from death to life, then why can't i simply deny myself sometime and sacrifice my needs for the needs of others. Ministry is about relationships...and relationships, true relationships, are firmly based upon sacrificial giving to one another and looking to the other's needs before that of my own. When will i realize that the Christian life is not about me, its about Christ. A life of gain in this world means nothing but success in this current world, but a life of loss for Christ is truly a life of gain as we should live for the hope of glory that is found in Christ at his return.When i do realize this, others will be first and i will truly be seeking what's best for others and sacrificing by doing whatever it takes to take the gospel to the lost and allow God's grace to do work!