Friday, October 21, 2011

Dying to Live

S) But we ourselves have had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we may not be trusting on ourselves, but on God, who is raising the dead, who did deliver us out of so great a death, and does deliver, in whom we have hoped that even yet He will deliver. (2 Corn. 1:9-10)
O) There sure is a lot of raising out of death in these verses.  It seems to me that being brought to life is a process, but it must happen through death.  Obviously Paul means this in more than a physical way.
A) Trusting God and not yourself...this is so hard when you feel "the sentence of death in yourself", and you want so desperately to have life, but just don't know how to get it.  But God has, and does, and will deliver me. I must hang onto hope and take one day at a time.
P) I hate feeling so tired and 'over it'.  Maybe this is part of my dying to self, and if it is, then I'm thankful.  Please raise me to life!  Show me how to really live.

I really think death and life are something very different in God's eyes than in ours.  We see it only in the physical realm, but it seems something different is going on in the spiritual realm.  Jesus eludes to this a lot.  In my last post, I quoted a verse where he says, "But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you,  ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”  It seems to me he's saying "If you think Isaac and Jacob need to be brought back to life...well, they are already alive".  He says a few other strange when a follower said they needed to bury their father, and Jesus replied "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead".  And of course there's the statement that you have to be born again to enter God's kingdom..."Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again."  And once again, we have focused only on entering God's kingdom as going to heaven when we die, but how can that be what Jesus was talking about when he says, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you." (and how is this possible when Jesus hasn't even died yet, so they can be forgiven?)  A couple more verses about death and life:

1) Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above...For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:1) 
2) But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.

I want to look at these verses with fresh eyes, and they just make so much more sense when your not reading them with the 'heaven and hell' lens we so often read all scripture with.  God made us alive...did we choose this?  Did we choose to be born in the flesh?  Maybe we don't choose to be born in the spirit either...maybe God does the choosing.  God gave us FAITH as a gift--what a concept.  How can we look down on anyone?  We can't, and we shouldn' one can boast.  In the coming ages, everyone will see just how kind and good and wonderful our God is.  We can stop worrying, and just enter His Kingdom.  I want so much to live there...TODAY, and forever.