APRIL 10 – 17, 2021
NO DYING, NO FUNERAL
Ephesians 4:22 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”
“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!” That’s a great line from the David Crowder Band. Baptism is a picture of the death of the old life, being put in the grave, and coming up into the resurrected new life. So often we want to walk in resurrected life, but we don’t want to put anything to death. We acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, but we don’t want to go through death and burial. Our thinking goes like this: Jesus died. I live. I win, period. But the truth is: Jesus died. Jesus lives. I died. I live in Jesus. Together we win.
We can’t have eternal life without repentance. We can’t have resurrection without a funeral. We strive to be more like Jesus, try to live without sin as He did, and we wonder why it doesn’t work, why we keep on falling. Then we get discouraged with Jesus! Only when we take our old sinful life and kill it can we live our lives with Jesus.
No dying, no funeral, no resurrection. This is key to living a fulfilled Christian life. Something within us needs to die. What is it? Paul continues the above verse by spelling out some things: bitterness, anger, brawling, slander, with more in Colossians 3:5: sexual immorality, lust, evil desires. Jesus names in Mark 7:22: greed, envy, malice, deceit, arrogance and folly. Peter adds hypocrisy in 1 Peter 2:1. Get the picture? Dying to self is saying NO to the things of our old life. Saying NO to the sin we have walked in and gotten so used to that we may not even recognize it as sin anymore. Sin causes us to be self- centered, shifting our hearts from God to self. The essence of salvation is an about-face from self-centeredness to God- centeredness. We cannot live for ourselves and for Jesus at the same time.
Have you died to your old life? Have you buried it? We must lose ourselves in the plans and purposes of GOD. Then we will find the true meaning of our existence in our resurrected life!
This is an excerpt from a 90-day devotional written by Emil and Karen. To order the full devotional, click on the DEVOTIONAL FUNDRAISER page.