Living for Christ is more difficult than dying for Him. Did you know that?
If you can’t die for Christ, how can you live for Him? I know a man who dramatically got saved. He actually did his best not to yield but the power of the conviction dealt him in. He had pleaded with God to allow him get married first before getting saved. According to him, it was impossible to stay without a woman in his life. He knew for sure that he would backslide—sooner rather than later. In his heart, he desired to serve God but, like the Bible says, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). He decided to play it safe by asking God to take his life a day prior to his falling back into sin. Because he had no power to resist sexual temptations, he was sure that the Lord would ‘snatch’ him away before he messed himself up. Alternatively, he hoped that God would give him a wife as a matter of urgency. To cut the long story short, the man never died; he never fell into sexual sin; he never married ‘immediately’—it took close to 6 years before he married, and when he finally married, the wife turned out to be frigid. He didn’t divorce her, but he had to still live for Christ. He learnt that the most dangerous thing is to find ‘good’ reason to do a wrong thing.
It takes a short time to die; it takes an entire lifetime to live.
i) If you asked the man above to choose between going home to be with the Lord and living for Christ under conjugal starvation, he would have opted for the former—he told me so. To live for Christ, you have to take up your cross everyday and follow Him. To die for Him, you are nailed on that cross once and you are done.
ii) If you asked Abraham to choose between sacrificing his son Isaac and his own life, I strongly believe that he could have chosen to die so that his son could live. Living with the pain of a son sacrificed by his own hands was going to be extremely difficult.
iii) If you asked the apostle Paul to choose between living for Christ and dying for Him, this is what he would answer: “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philipp. 1:23). Living for Christ means persecutions; trials; rejections; pains, etc.
iv) If you ask me to choose between living with the pain of the death of my 14 year old son and departing myself from this life, I would rather not live to bury my child. Living for Christ means living with the pain of the death of loved ones without being bitter with God. Knowing very well that for God, healing any manner of sickness is not a big deal, yet we still have to love Him despite not granting our wish.
At the end of the day, isn’t it clear that we are only able to live for Christ if we are ready to die for Him?
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it”—Matthew 10:39 (NIV).
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