Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Christ - I am crucified with Christ

I am crucified with Christ...

Galatians 2:20 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. 

Wednesday, November 10th Update from Joni:

“November in sunny California is an odd season -- the roses and purple sage along my back fence are expiring in one last burst of color, as if to stave off the coming cold. Not even flowers like to die, I guess. Neither do we Christians, yet lately when I flip through the New Testament, I keep reading "... unless a seed falls to the ground and dies" or "... put to death, therefore" or "... I have been crucified" and finally, "... take up your cross." It seems from the moment we are born, we need to learn how to live and die.

“None of us, in our culture of comfort, know how to prepare ourselves for dying, but that's what we should do. As I shared in a recent Christianity Today interview, every day we are called to die a thousand deaths -- not just walking through the valley of the shadow of death when we get a bad medical report; but when we say 'no' to our selfish desires or 'yes' to trusting God when it's hard. And nothing helps us learn how to die better than suffering. My struggle with cancer and chronic pain is teaching me on a much deeper level how to yield to Christ and embrace both His cross and mine -- at times it's so hard the only thing I can do is give in and groan alongside my Savior, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.’

“When I was 14 years old and a new Christian, I wanted my life verse to be Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." I may not have understood it at 14, but that's how to die -- and it brings power, joy, peace and contentment. May God give you and I the strength to lose our lives for Christ's sake... because that's when real living starts :-)!”

Joni’s right – no one wants to think about death – or dying – but it’s something we will all experience – no one escapes death.  Some of us may live longer than others – but in the end, there is death.  For the Christian that doesn’t have to be a scary thing – it can actually be quite comforting – death means that our struggle here is over and our eternal life with Jesus begins.   She’s also right about our need to die daily – to our sin – to our flesh – to our own will – to see ourselves crucified with Christ.  That’s hard to do – it’s so much easier just to do what I want - but God wants us to CHOOSE death to self in order that He might work the character of Christ into our lives.  Do you want to see yourself as that “new creature in Christ?”  Then die to yourself – live the truth that you have been crucified with Christ, and live wholly – and holy - for Him.  Sharon

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