Posted by: word4men | October 25, 2009

Consider Yourself Dead

20Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;
21these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
22Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus.
23And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24″Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25″He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
26″If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

John 12:20-26

Last night I was reading a biography of Curtis LeMay, the much misuderstood Air Force General of WW2 and Cold War fame. I challenge folks to read about him from people other than those of the Vietnam and 60’s period. A very interesting man who was very much anti his stereotype.
I read where he gave a scared officer in his bomber group in early WW2 Britain some personal advice
“Nutter, you are probably going to get killed, so it’s best to accept it. You’ll get along much better.”
I guess many men have given similar advice. Maybe the writers of “12 O’Clock High” took this directly from LeMay or maybe many commanders at that time in 8th Air Force (the US strategic bomber force in Europe) may have given it as the more flamboyant General Savage (Gregory Peck). But, it does sound remarkably like the sermon my pastor (Ken Hardin, Grace Community Baptist Church, Monks Corner, SC) gave this morning.
The language of death is one the Bible uses over and over again…mainly to express bad things. But here, in John 12:24-25 Jesus uses it in a paradoxical fashion. He tells us that if we hate our lives we will save it. If we love our lives here on Earth more than God, we will lose it. Paul tells us to “consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to Christ” (Romans 6:11). Or “”I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians (2:20).
In a very real sense, we who have been called to God through Christ into the church must die. Our desires for material things, safety, comfort, power in the world must die. For we have died in Christ.
As General Savage and General LeMay (then LTC LeMay) said, to them the only thing that mattered was putting bombs on target so as to end the war quicker…therefore consider yourself dead already. Christians, are already dead to this world. We are to have but one goal and ambition, serve Christ, glorify the Godhead by relying upon HIM  and living for Him, in Him.
I must admit, even this very weekend, I recieved a couple of affronts and took them very personally. One had to do with money (it really did hurt and wasn’t my fault…lets just say no groceries were bought this weekend) and one loved one selfishly assaulted another with their words…which lacked any understanding.  But, that is what we should expect. Everyone has those problems…as a Christian, I should expect far more for HIS sake (the 2d was partially so). But what seperates (or shouldseperate) believers from others. We do not take our suffering as against us, but as against the one who loves us and we know there is purpose…God’s glory in our suffering. He is served. I haven’t fully embraced this teaching, but I know it is true. Please pray for me, and I will pray for you that we will ultimately love God more than our earthly lives and will in effect die to sin and live with Christ.

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Responses

  1. We don’t die to the world but to self. There is a big difference to setting ourselves against the world and dying to self. One produces piety the othere true Christian spirituality.

    From a Facebook view

  2. Two worlds Mark…the one filled with God’s wonders and people in need and the other is the system of sin and vanity. I think you know what I mean in the post. I will be more careful in word choice in the future.

    Greg

  3. Thanks for this post. If more Christians realized their need to DIE to themselves and the things of this world oh how much richer they would be.

  4. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
    James 4:4


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