In Living We Die

In living we die; In dying we live.

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This is the proverb I live by. Its message is simple: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matt 16:24-25

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To follow Christ, He commands that we deny ourselves and climb up on our crosses daily. “Come and die,” He bids us, “For whoever wants to save his life must lose it.” To have the full, abundant, bursting-at-the-seams-with-joy life Christ promised, we must deny ourselves – deny our selfish desires, deny our sinful desires – deny ourselves everything else and chase after Him with reckless abandon.

And when we do this – when we die to ourselves – we will find life.

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People have, in the past, accused me of being rather morbid. I neither disagree nor agree. What I write now is no more morbid than what Christ taught. You have to remember that back at the time, when He instructed a follower to “take up his cross,” they would have pictured an instrument of torture and death.
Today we hold up the cross as a pretty silver necklace to slip around our necks or a cute emblem to stick on the bumper of our cars. What He is saying is no different than “Climb into your electric chair,” or “Tighten your noose.” These simply sound strange to us because the imagery of the cross today is so radically different than it was back then.
Simply put, He is using a metaphor.

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I suppose I write this today because it is something I am trying to put into practice myself. I am, unfortunately, very selfish at times. This is something that God has been at work changing for quite some time, and I am much less selfish now than before. I have to remind myself, daily, to keep dying. To keep giving and serving and thinking first of others and last of myself.

In dying we live – and this is no easy thing to do.

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