Friday, September 21, 2012
Am I Dead Yet?
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. - Luke 9:23
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. - John 12:24
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. - Galatians 5:24
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:3-4
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. - I Peter 2:24
Do you notice a trend? These are just a few of the verses in the Bible that speak of a very important principle -- we have to die before we can live. It boggles the mind. It makes no sense. Die to live? But more than anything, it bruises our pride because deep down we know exactly what God is saying. In order to live full and complete lives in Christ, we must die to ourselves daily, and that, my friends, is not an easy task.
Dying to our selves is the act of putting aside our own ambitions, desires, goals, dreams and plans. It involves saying (and meaning), "Not my will, but thine be done, O Lord." It means telling ourselves over and over again, "It's not about me. It doesn't matter what I want. It doesn't matter what I think or feel. It's all about God and fulfilling His desire for my life. That is truly all that matters." So I'm asking you, "Am I dead yet? Are you?"
I'm tired of living a mediocre life. I've had it with being easily swayed by circumstances in my life. I'm fed up with doing things my way because you know what? My way doesn't work! My way only succeeds in leaving me frustrated and disappointed. I've had enough. I'm ready to die (spiritually, of course--this is not a suicide note). I think I've finally gotten it through my thick skull that I can't live this life on my own. If I really want to live and live abundantly like the Bible talks about, then this is the necessary step.
We are gathered here today to celebrate the passing of Dana Rongione. She was a stubborn soul who lived only to serve the flesh, and we give thanks that she finally saw the Light. Unto thee, O Lord, do we commend her spirit that she may walk with You in newness of life and experience joy like she's never known before. And all God's children said, "Amen."
Now I can finally rest in peace . . . well, at least until I need to die again.