"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, September 13, 2013

* DYING TO LIVE

Philippians 3:10-11 (NIV 1984) "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

Jesus is in the business of bringing death to life.  He does it physically; He does it spiritually.  He did it with Lazarus (John 11:25).  He did it with Saul (Acts 9).  He can do it with you.

Because of Christ's sacrifice we are freed from sin and death to experience true and abundant life. Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10b).  Jesus is the life-giver.  Satan, however, is the life-stealer and death-giver.  He comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a). 

Because Christ is risen, His followers have the same resurrection hope and power.  Our reality changes because of Christ's victory over death.  Christ's triumph becomes ours through faith, which frees us to live the resurrected life every day.

Romans 6:12 teaches we are to count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. A resurrected life buries the desires of self and crucifies the sinful nature in order to proclaim this new resurrected life.  

Romans 6:13 further instructs us to offer ourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of our body to Him as instruments of righteousness.  A resurrected life belongs to God and lives for Him.  This life becomes a tool for His Kingdom.  

Living a resurrected life is a testimony to the risen Lord and a witness to the world.  Like Paul, we should honestly be able to say, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).  Just as Christ overcame death, we too can overcome by dying to self in order to live for Him.  We die so we can live!

To become like Him in His death is to lay down our life in order to experience the full significance and breadth of a resurrected life.  This is the goal and prize Paul reached for in Philippians 3:10-14.  He wanted to know Christ and the power of his resurrection; to become like Him in His death, and to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Jesus resurrects my life.  As I continue to grow in my faith this truth revolutionizes the way I approach each day.  I see how God saved me from the clutches of death and restored my life to experience abundant life in Him.  
  • He delivered me from severe bondage to eating disorders.
  • He filled the gaps of my insecure heart as a young wife and mother.
  • He brought healing to brokenness from crippling childhood wounds.
  • He gave me strength to walk with hope and comfort when my mother died.
  • He replaces my fears and concerns with trust in His sovereign will.
  • He brings me joy despite frustrating circumstances.
  • He calms my irritations and buttons my lip when I want to have the last word.
  • He enables me to love and respect my husband.
  • He provides wisdom and patience as I strive to nurture my children.
  • He rebukes my pride and unfair comparisons when I am discontent.
Do I get it right every time?  Nope.  But, I believe the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, is also in me.  When I submit by dying to myself, operating in His power and not my own strength becomes my response to life, which is far beyond my ability.  This is the power to live a victorious, resurrected Christian life!

Are you dying to live?


Heart Work:
The most significant event in history changed everything.  How has Christ's victory over death changed you?

Don't forget, when we die to self it offers the hope and life of Christ to others.

Heart Exam:
Comment and share what ways God has given you victory and new life?  

Have you died to self and been made alive in Christ?

How can your life better display the power of the resurrection of Christ?

Heart Transforming Word:
John 11:25-26 (NIV 1984) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?"

Romans 6:4-5 "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live new life."

1 Corinthians 15:57 "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Cor. 4:10-12 "We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."

2 Cor. 5:17 tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

1 Peter 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."




Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen.  Edited 2013.  All rights reserved.