Dying to Live
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.”Luke 9: 23-24
The basis of the entire Christian life is dying to live. We hear this often in our Christian walk, this idea of dying to live. But what does that really mean? What does that look like in my life? Where does this idea come from?
Jesus died a sinner’s death on the cross so that we may have eternal life. Therefore, in Galatians Paul writes I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) We have to die to ourselves, to our own will for our lives, just as Christ did not do his own will but the Father’s. (John 5:19) He did this so that We may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) The bottom line is that Jesus died for us so that we may live in Him and do so abundantly. That is what the Lord wants for us in our lives.
So what does this look like in our lives? Jesus tells us that we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). This means we must live a life of denying ourselves. When we deny ourselves we are putting others needs and desires before our own. This is exactly how Jesus lived His life, denying the immediate gratification of self to meet others’ needs. When we live like this we glorify God through the Son. And Jesus promises that whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:24) What an amazing promise!
Today we should live our lives denying ourselves and doing for others. God promises that if we live this way we will have eternal life through His Son! Therefore, today let us pick up our cross. Whatever it is that is heavy in our lives, whatever burden it is that we carry around. Let us pick that up and follow the Lord, giving all things to Him and trusting in His will for our lives. Let us be encouraged that by dying to ourselves and putting others first, the Lord will bless our lives and grant us eternal life. When we live this way we are putting our full trust and faith in Him who is able to do abundantly more than we can think or imagine. (Ephesians. 3:20) Praise the Lord that his will and plans for our lives are plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and future (Jer. 29:11), so long as we will deny ourselves and follow Him!
Prayer: Lord, help us to pick up our cross and follow you today. Empower us with the strength to deny ourselves and have full faith that you will grant us an abundant and eternal life with you. In Jesus name, Amen!
Written by Tony Peterson