Friday, 12 May 2017

Choose Life (Part Thirty Three)

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:5-6, NKJV)
We continue this week with the story of the sick man healed at the Pool of Bethesda. [John 5:1-15].

With the knowledge of our mortality before us, what sort of persons ought we to be? The Apostle Peter is apt in answering. He says we ought to live holy, godly, and productive lives. [2 Peter 1:3-11, 3:11]

Rabbi Boruch Leff adds,
“By living each day as if it could be our last, we relate to each life experience passionately, powerfully, and memorably.”
He took his reference from the Talmudic statement,
"Whoever wants to live, must make himself dead." (Tamid 32a)
This finds a direct parallel in Jesus' admonition to us, in Matthew 16:24-25. It reads,
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." (NKJV)
He seems to be telling us,
"The way up is the way down. The way to life is the way to die."
Apostle Paul supports this. He spoke of himself in Galatians 2:20 as thus,
“My old self has been crucified [put to death] with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives [rules, reigns] in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting [resting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (NLT, with my emphasis)
So, like Paul, have you been to calvary? Have you been crucified with Christ? Are you taking up your cross? Are you following Christ? Or, are you about your own agenda, your own purpose?  Is Christ reigning and ruling in your life? Are you resting in Him? Are you confident of His person? Are you confident of His disposition towards you? Are you living unto Him in all things, every day, and in everything? [2 Corinthians 5:15] Have you died to self, ambition, and pride?
"If a philosophy of life cannot help me to die, then in a sense it cannot help me to live." (Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)
Christ's death produced in us a death process. As it were, we died with Him. We are dead, dead to our own self, way of living, our ambitions, etc. We died with Christ only so that we might rise to a new life in Him. A life where we are no more living unto our self, but unto Him who died for us. We cannot appreciate or walk in this new life until we appreciate and truly be a part of His death. His death produced and produces this new life we are called to live.
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death." (Philippians 3:10, NKJV)
This is not a "one time, kill it all" process. Rather, it is a continual, daily consecration. Like the Apostle Paul, our motivation must be to take up our cross daily, seeking to know Him in His death and His suffering. For only in doing this can resurrection power be made manifest in us. [Philippians 3:7-15] So,
Do you know calvary? Does Calvary know you? 
© 2017 Akin Akinbodunse.


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