Jesus calls us to live a life of unimaginable adventure. It begins the moment we choose to follow Him. It is not less than to pass from existence to life.
Erwin McManus; Seizing Your Divine Moment
God told the Israelites:
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!" (Deuteronomy 30:19; NLT).
There is no greater desire God has for us than that of life. To give us life is the very reason Jesus came; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10b; NASB). God cherishes life.
Yes, God has given us the freedom to choose life or death, but God has also arranged it so we can find life. Life is not something we have to go out and find, but it is a gift which God freely gives.
God is the Life Maker, and all true life originates from Him.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16; NLT).
God wants us to live the true life He created us to live. Our Creator opened the door of life for us so we can escape death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23; NASB).
The God who has revealed Himself through the Bible and through Jesus Christ prizes life. God is at work to bring life to people. Here is the paradox found in God's gift of life: True life comes through death.
True life was made possible by the death of Jesus:
And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation (Romans 5:9; NLT).
While the death of Jesus remains a mystery to me, the Bible is clear that Jesus' death saves us from sin and all of its consequences. The possibility of life exists because of the death of Jesus.
For us to turn the possibility of life into reality requires our death.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it (Matthew 16:24-25; NLT)
Jesus tells us that we have to die in order to live. Following this idea the apostle Paul wrote:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20; NASB).
The first step in dying and being crucified with Christ is baptism:
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives (Romans 6:4; NLT).
It continues through a daily surrender to God as a living sacrifice:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him (Romans 12:1; NLT).
To daily offer our lives as living sacrifices requires that we set aside our dreams and ambitions and heed God's call for our lives. To surrender our lives means that what matters most to us isn't our will but God's will. We live life, not on our terms, but on God's terms.
The reason that true life requires death is because of sin. The moment sin, which is rebellion against God, entered the world death became a reality. This means death was not part of the original design of God, and for that original to take root the old and corrupted life of sin has to pass away. Death is the passing away of the old so that the new can come. Just as Paul wrote:
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.
At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:15-17; NLT)
God wants everyone to have life, not only right now, but everlasting life with Him in His Kingdom. God offers life, but we have to accept it. Will you lay down the old and take ahold of the new life God has for you to live?Follow @pbsteele