The Dying Life

Thomas A Kempis once said, “Realize that you must lead a dying life; the more a man dies to himself, the more he begins to live unto God.

Consider the words of Jesus: “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:38–39, NASB95)

Living a dying life means that the Christ-follower must consider themselves dead to human entanglement in this world. The strongest bond is the entanglement to self and selfish desires. The second strongest bond is entanglement to human relationships. Even the best and closest relationship should never stand in the way of living a fully surrendered life before God. Believers are to be devoted to the family as a priority but never to the extent that a person’s devotion to God is compromised. Jesus calls all His followers to die to self and live a dying life in order to experience the fullness of life in God.

Jesus instructed each of His followers to figuratively “take up his cross and follow after me” as an act of commitment and devotion. The implication is not martyrdom or a monastic lifestyle but a frame of mind. Taking up one’s cross is the willingness to live sacrificially for Christ in this world, just as Jesus lived sacrificially for us. Finding your life relates to the physical life in this world, and losing your life relates to eternal life in the eternal world. In seeking as a priority a self-satisfying life in this world, you risk the loss of eternal life. On the other hand, Jesus calls believers to “release or let go” of self-satisfying life in this world to find eternal life in Christ.

Remember, you are not taking up a real cross and dying for your sins; Jesus is the only one qualified to atone for the sins of mankind. But you are called to consciously surrender self-centered pleasure in this world in order to find the fullness of life in Christ. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, NASB95)

The dying life will experience abundant life in Christ Jesus.

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