As we are preparing to enter the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, what an awesome time to reflect on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the invitation he has given each one of us to follow him. That invitation to follow him has not changed since the very first disciples heard it and said YES. It is an invitation to ‘Come and Die’ as we fully surrender our lives to his authority. ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.’ (Galatians 2:20) I lay down my life (die daily) because Jesus already laid down his life for my sake. Jesus gave himself; he gave it all, and in return, He is asking for our complete obedience. He wants disciples who are fully in! Is that you?
‘Come and Die’ is going to be the theme at the NRBA in 2019. All year our staff will be reminding students that we are to ‘put off our old self (death to our old self) which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of our minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’ (Ephesians 4:22-24) ‘Come and Die’ is not a popular thought in our culture where the importance of self is elevated above all else. (Sadly, it is not a theme being stressed in most churches in America) Self-fulfilment and self-ambition have never been Jesus’s teaching and he never promised following him would be popular, in fact he taught just the opposite. ‘If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.’ (John 15:20) ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kind of evil against you because of me.’ (Matthew 5:11)
This time of year is a great time to once again thank God for the invitation and privilege he has given us to lay down our lives and follow him, and to re-commit our hearts and minds to giving him our 100% love and devotion. If we are willing to be ‘Come and Die’ disciples of Jesus, the world will see how valuable Jesus is to us, and that message my friends, will have a profound impact and influence for eternity.
As always, I AM PRAYING FOR YOU.