Lord, I Want to Die. {Where you can receive a new life}

When I wrote how I might never find my death, or the life Christ wants to live through me, I never believed my death would come knocking so soon. Let me explain…

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With four blessings from heaven at home…every day, this place often exceeds local noise ordinances, and it’s not all fun and games. Dreams of Duggar-style practically perfect peace have long since evaporated (like the water in the cup now cemented to the purple paint-brush left out overnight). Here’s just a sampling:

  • “Jack get out of that seat. This is girls’ space!”
  • “Emilie,  why are your eyes open when we’re praying?”
  • “Stop kicking me!”  {I didn’t kick you.} “Yes you did!” {No I didn’t.  I just pushed your leg with my foot.}
  • “Mooommm!  Jack bit me…AGAIN.”

Bickering.  Blame-Shifting.  Boasting.  Rationalizing.  Out-right lying. Whose children are these anyway?

Strangely enough, these children often reflect the two chief sinners living among them.

While in the midst of a strained relationship with a now-distant relative, I often think:

  • “I don’t want to call her.  She never answers the phone anyway.” {Bickering?}
  • “Why should I make the first move?  She’s the one at fault here.” {Blame-shifting?}
  • “Thank God I’m not like her.” {Boasting?}
  • “Surely this life, these children are more imminently important today than rehashing my childhood of yesterday.” {Rationalizing?}
  • “I honestly just forgot to call today…we go so busy.” {Out-right lying?}

Hmmmm.

Help me die3

In church on Sunday, our pastor highlighted John 12:25:

“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

I’ve heard of this type of dying before.  Dying to self-concern. {Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? – Matthew 6:27}  Dying to self-interest. {Consider one another more highly than yourself. – Ro 12:10}  Dying to self-protection. {Because [I] hold fast to [God] in love, [He] will deliver [me]; [God] will protect [me], because He knows my name. – Psalm 91:14}

But somehow I can’t shake the belief that there’s more…

“What about death to the dead and dying?”

(God always seems to have a way with words.)

“What about death to false living?  To bondage that masquerades as freedom? To bickering, and blame-shifting, and boasting, and rationalizing, and lying.”

This got me thinking…

Does another person’s unrighteousness really lift me up from below?  Isn’t this what I (and my children) seek as we bicker, blame-shift, boast, rationalize, and lie?  Elevation from shaky soapboxes erected atop another sinner’s sin?  Loftiness from the pinnacle of our precarious position?  Justification, defense, and even a guilty death sentence upon another, any sinner other than ourselves, in need of a Savior? Because if they’re wrong, doesn’t that make me right?

Or.

Or is it Jesus’ righteousness that covers me from above?  Protected by the blood of Christ.  Clothed in His righteousness alone.  When I own up to my own sin, repent of my own unrighteousness, die to my complaints, excuses, offenses, and even my finger-pointing defenses, don’t I gain what I’m really looking for?  Gospel identity.  A sinner justified before God.  A convict saved by the ultimate defense attorney.  A prisoner pronounced forgiven and free before all men. Because if the blood of Jesus’ cross makes me right, then I never want to move from the foot of that cross.

The rest of that chapter in John says:

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

A whole, unbroken grain of wheat may remain intact, but it nevertheless  remains alone.  Only death – broken shells and exposed hearts – produces fruitful, abundant, new life. 

Help me die4

Help me die, Lord.  For I want to truly live.

Might I Pray for Us?

Dearest Jesus,

You died for my sake.  You died to give me new life.  I confess that I resent your call to do the same.  I confess that I don’t really know how to die, nor do I want to die.  By your grace, help me to repent of my reluctance to die to my own sin.  Help me to forgive others who do the same.  Help me to die, that I might live anew.  It is in your precious and holy name we pray.

Amen.

Notes of Encouragement:

Words of Affirmation:

Even Jesus didn’t chose to save his life.  He chose to save yours.

Pastor Tom Holiday, Alexandria Presbyterian Church, VA

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