What in Your Life Needs to Die?

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
–John 12:23-32
To abide in Christ is to follow after and imitate His manner of living:  Jesus sowed righteousness into the earth by giving His life as a ransom for many.
What portions of your life does God want you to lose?  What in your life has to die in order for you to bear fruit for the Savior?
Remember, the thing(s) that have to die are not necessarily bad things.  They may even be good things in some people’s lives, fulfilling godly, natural needs:
  • Marriage is a godly covenant, but the Lord was called to singleness.
  • A permanent dwelling is a practical blessing, but the Son of man had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58).
  • When Jesus was on the cross, even His most fundamental, biological needs were not met.  He thirsted.  He struggled to breathe.
Every man and woman has a cross they must bear, if they are to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).  How do your know you are carrying your cross?
  • Your soul is troubled:  for it is the nature of the flesh to fight to live.  [Your spirit may be filled with joy–for you are doing the will of God–but we will not find joy and contentment in areas of our lives where God has imposed a temporary lack or affliction or permanent condition of self-denial or life-long trial.  Of course, in time, we will have victory and peace in this area of lives [if we continue by faith and allow the Lord to finish His work]:  but then, the Lord will begin working in other areas of our lives!  Of course, we can always take joy in the good that our sufferings do in our lives:  as David wrote, It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes–Psalm 119:71].
  • God speaks His approval to you.
  • Others are drawn to the knowledge of God by your obedience:  for Christ is revealed to them.
Why are our crosses beautiful things?  They allow us to provide evidence of our faith (James 2:20) and draw us into intimacy with the Savior:
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
–2 Corinthians 1:5

3 thoughts on “What in Your Life Needs to Die?

  1. Glad to see you sharing again bro.

    What in my life needs to die? Self.

    For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you.
    (2 Cor 4:6-12)

  2. The hard truths of the Word- now I know why I like you guys.

    Another fitting post Mark- I really liked what you said about how we know we are carrying our cross and your words in relation to our sould being troubled. My soul is often troubled, although I think this has been minimized since I found a few souls I was able to share my troubled soul with. Before I met you guys, I never had the confidence to talk about having become homeless and some other difficulties over the years. Those who eventually found out not only refused to help, they ridiculed me, talked behind my back and made sport of me. To this day, many are ashamed of these things although none are classified as sin or do harm to others.
    One of the most powerful phrases in the Bible I believe are the words Paul spoke to some of his friends- “you were not ashamed of my chains.” For sure, those chains included imprisonment, but more, they also included the chains that God Himself placed upon this special apostle- afflictions, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, sleeplessness, homelessness etc…chains the apostle chose to embrace for the sake of his Lord and for others as Ian has said- death worketh in us.

    I do not claim to be an apostle, in fact I don’t claim to be anything these days- just another wanderer in a world so foreign to who I have become over these many years. By the grace of God He shall have His way with me, and that what is left will be daily crucified by whatever circumstances He deems necessary. There is nothing I can do but to trust in the loving hand of a Father who knows me better than I, and fashions in me a likeness of His very self as I submit to Him day by day.

  3. Among brothers, external differences matter not. There are always external differences. As for me, I have a profound respect for you in the Lord Jesus. Moreover, I see [by faith, understanding the scriptures], how your present circumstance is beneficial in preparing you for a day that is coming. The scriptures are prophetic, in that, we live them out by faith in the Lord Jesus. Love ya’, brother, Mark

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