Deny Yourself to Truly Live

“The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”
(John 12:23-26)

Life as we see it naturally is nothing if we don’t have life spiritually through the only Way–Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6).

God by His own hand brought salvation to raise fallen man to true life. He sent Jesus to undergo the punishment we ourselves deserve. The very fact that human beings are fallen means sin, and sin means judgment, punishment, death. God had to bring death and punishment to atone for sin, so that life could come to us who are dead without Christ.

In John 12:24 Jesus speaks of the grain of wheat that must die before it can truly live and bear fruit. “Once the seed falls into fertile ground, the outer shell begins to open as it dies; and inside the dead shell, new life awaits. Then, in the right conditions, the new growth will begin to emerge” (quote from this page). If the seed doesn’t die, the new life of a plant could not spring forth. And so it was with Jesus–Son of God, Son of Man–who died and rose again, becoming the “firstfruits” of many.

To be part of the many, we too have to “die.” We must turn from our sinful actions, thoughts and desires–from self, turn to God. We repent [turn away] from sin and make Jesus Lord over our lives–He becomes the One we live for, whose desires we seek to fulfill; we are not lord over our own lives any longer. It is a continually process in our lives as believers, at any time in which we disobey God. We seek to live not for self–doing as we please, but for God alone. We live to obey our Father in Heaven, knowing that disobedience is sin and sin has consequences (Gal. 6:7-9).

So we have to die to truly live. We don’t live out of do’s and don’ts of religion to appear good, but we ask Christ to reign in us as we seek His grace in denying our own personal desires. It’s not that we are His robots in this, but it’s because we love Him and desire to please Him (or that we desire to desire to please Him! Ask Him, He will help you even to have the desire.) Even in times when we don’t see the eternal good in it, we can hold to His promise that the eternal glory far outweighs any suffering our obedience brings (Rom. 8:18, 2 Cor. 4:17-18).

We live as God’s yielded vessels, filled as He desires, broken and poured out as He desires. We, the children of God, live to do His will as His Holy Spirit leads us. In this there is true joy, in this we truly live.

“…those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
(Galatians 5:24-25)

“I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me.”
(Galatians 2:20)

To God be the glory as we deny ourselves and allow Christ to live through us as His yielded vessels of holy love expressed!

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