Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 20, 2017
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20
Self does not die by itself—I can only release control when I am crucified with Christ—on the cross self is rendered dead and powerless. Yet every day of my life self claws back with a come back, like a perpetual Rocky series—self seeks to regain status as reigning champion. Selfish ambition, self reliance, self indulgence, self promotion, self pity and self sufficiency are competitors, found even in Christian leaders who speak truth but promote self on the stage. Only with my surrender, renunciation, repentance, suffering and crucifixion with Christ will self stay dead.
Paul radically and relevantly describes the process of being one with Jesus—our self death leads to the Lord’s life living in and through us. A gifted and resourceful human being—Paul was keenly aware of the convenience and comfort of living by his own experiences, expertise and energy. Especially capable people need extra reminders to keep self in the coffin of God’s grace, nailed shut by our surrender. Our self death leads to Christ’s sinless life released to empower us.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).
What is your process to reckon self dead and your soul alive to Christ? What boundaries do you have in place to protect you from yourself? I recently heard a Bible teacher describe his accountability group called the Eulogists. Strange I thought, but he went on to describe this group of five men who know him so intimately they are uniquely qualified to speak at his funeral about what it was like to truly know him. Intimacy insulates us from hearing the noise of deceit. Friends who know us and love us help us stay surrendered to Christ and not subject to self.
What does it mean to be crucified with Christ? Crucifixion means by faith we are dead to sin and Christ lives in us, so we might live out His resurrected life through us. When my friend was adopted as a child by loving Christian parents, he never went back to his pre-adoption life since his new life flourished with more fulfillment than ever before. In Christ we are adopted by our loving heavenly Father, our old life under the father of lies is dead—so we flourish forward by faith. As we release control to our Savior Jesus Christ, He releases us to rest in His rich assurance.
“The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:10-12).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I confess my old life is crucified with Christ so as to walk in newness of life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
ApplicationTo be completely alive to Christ, what area of my life remains in need of total surrender?
Related ReadingJohn 12:24; 1 Corinthians 15:36; Hebrews 7:27; Philippians 3:10
Post/Tweet todayAs we release control to our Savior Jesus Christ, He releases us to rest in His rich assurance. #releasecontrol #WisdomHunters
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