The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4 that he carried around in his body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in his mortal body. He said there is a treasure in our body (that is if we belong to Him.) That treasure is Jesus Himself.
How is this treasure revealed in our life?
In the Gospel of John 12:24, John tells us that unless a seed falls to the ground and die it will produce no fruit. It’s still just a seed.When the seeds of Jesus’ Words fall into the soil of my life I have realized that there is a death that has to take place. If I allow the seed to take good root in me then the Word encounters areas that are contrary and resistant to the Word. A death must take place where the seed lands in my life. If it does it will bring forth life and fruit.
In Matthew chapter 5-7 we find the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells us if we look at a woman to lust we commit adultery; bless people who insult us or talk bad about us; we can’t give our offerings if we are not in right relationship with others; we must go the extra mile; turn the other cheek; love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, and the list goes on and on. At first we look at these things and religiously say, “OK, no big deal, I do that.” But do we? Do we show up early for work and stay late with out complaining? Or do we go the extra mile on our jobs or in our relationships? Do we give more than we are asked of? Do we think of kind words to say to those who say unkind or insensitive things to us?
When the seed of Jesus’ Word truly fall into the broken up soil of our life we see this kind of life is impossible. Our flesh rises up and say no, it’s my human right. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” This means dying daily. This means denying self. As you see when we really allow the Word to penetrate us it causes a dying in us. Our flesh resists death. It wants to preserve the life it has. But dying is necessary if we want the life of Jesus (the treasure) to produce life and fruit. It is an impossible task to follow Jesus with our old life. It is impossible to embrace the new life the way Jesus commands. When we recognize the truth of His Word and can admit we cannot do it, we are at the dying place.
Let the Word offend your flesh. Embrace it. Die to it. The result will be life and peace. It means the manifest presence of God. When you truly discover the Shepherd in Psalm 23, you will want for nothing else and you will find everything you ever needed.
I’m Dying…but not dead yet…