Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dead yet Alive

God Wants Me Dead- That statement sounds pretty extreme don't you think? It is a pretty extreme statement to make, and yet it is true. The statement finds its greatest truth and testing in the lives of His Children, Christians. So, God Wants Christians Dead. Even Jesus, yes, Jesus, wants us dead. In the gospels he gives some pretty sobering guidance for individuals who wants to be his disciples and follow him. That means me. I want to be known as a follower of Jesus Christ and a student of His.


In Luke's gospel Jesus is talking with the disciples about the crowds of people and who they thought he was. Some in the crowd thought Jesus was an Old Testament prophet, back from the dead. When Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter quickly proclaimed, "You are the Christ of God."


Just moments after this confession Jesus made some of the hardest demands upon His followers. The demands that point to my statement, God Wants Me Dead. For, Jesus said that whoever wanted to be His disciple must deny himself daily, take up his cross and follow him. The cross leads to death. Jesus and the two criminals died on the cross. Their bodies were taken down, lifeless and limp.


Now what is the truth that Jesus wanted to help the disciples, and us, understand? It is very simple, yet it is probably the most difficult task in being a Christ Follower. God wants me dead to my own selfish nature. The apostle Paul reminds us, "I am crucified with Christ, never the less I live. Yet it is not I, but Christ who lives within me. And the life that I live, I live by the faith of the Son of God."


Each day I must be willing to put my own will aside. If I have to have things done my way. I must stop demanding my way. If I think I am always right. I need to admit that I am not right 100% of the time, no person is. When God calls on me to do some task I need to complete the job. If God has put upon a human heart some great burden than God expects it to get it done, in spite of how one might feel at any given moment.


The early Church turned the world upside down because they believed that Christ gave them life. They knew that the life of Christ must be lived out in an openly hostile world and they were willing to give their life for Christ. It was the blood of the Apostles and countless disciples that fertilized the barren heartlands and transformed them into flowering oasis's.


Sadly, today the western church is prosperous in property, programs and professionals, yet destitute in selfless living. Church's argue and split because of money, immorality, greed, gossip and at times physical attacks. The symptoms of the selfish church abound, in sharp contrast and contrary to the words of our savior.


Jesus made it very clear that the world judges the church and His followers by the way we love each other. And believe me, there are days that the only way I can love some of the people I deal with is to count myself dead.
I Must be Dead to the World and Alive Unto God

Tedd Galloway is the author of, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God and Encounter at River's Edge. Both books are available through local bookstores, Amazon, and directly from the author.  His website is www.teddgalloway.com  At the site you can watch the trailers for both books, access the blog articles, read his bio, and find contact information.