We often consider our need to be set free from the deceptive entanglements of the world. Whether this means the sinful temptations of the flesh, the misguided priorities of selfish ambition, or simply the vast number of trivial activities which consume our time, they all hinder our intimacy with God.
These “hindrances” of the world keep many unbelievers from knowing Jesus and coming to a saving faith in His sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. They also keep many believers from walking closer with God and glorifying His name. It’s no wonder Jesus says, in the strongest terms, that we must crucify the things of the flesh; “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Following Christ means to be “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20) – a full and complete death of ALL which would pull us away!
But praise God this is not the end of the story. We are not simply called to the glum and dreary dead life so many Christians seem to be living – the life removed from the entanglements of the world but also removed from any and all form of joy. No, we have been called to much more; we have been called to a glorious new birth! We die so we can live in Christ and give Him full control to work in and through our life.
1 Peter 1:3
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Jesus came into the world to die on a cross for the forgiveness of our sin. But Jesus was not just crucified and buried…He rose!! His resurrection was God’s declaration to the world that Jesus was His Son (Romans 1:4); and it confirmed, with absolute assurance, the complete victory over sin and death. This life of crucifixion and victorious resurrection is the full life to which we have been invited.
We have unquestionably been called to take up our cross and follow Jesus up the hill to die. We must put to death our sinful desires as well as all selfish dreams and ambitions. But we must never remain locked inside a dark and lonely tomb. Though it is often a painful process (Jesus experienced GREAT pain in His death) we must persevere through death to be resurrected into a living hope in Christ; “He is not here; He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:6). We must truly rise and be born again.
Let’s begin to walk as a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and declare to the world through our joy and peace that we are a child of God. Let’s arise with new desires and dreams – those formed in our heart by a loving and gracious Father – and live by the guiding power of His Spirit. Let’s praise Him all of our days as we joyfully live the resurrected life!
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jan 20 Genesis 41:17-42:17; Matthew 13:24-46; Psalm 18:1-15; Proverbs 4:1-6