Learning how to Die #2

Learning how to die is rapidly becoming lessons in love. See, the Law of God can be summarised with 2 main ideas:

Love God

Love others

And the New Testament idea is that the law brings death (2 Corinthians 3:7-8). I perceive this death to be necessary, as there can surly only be new life once the old one is gone.

Jesus followed the law perfectly , and his path took him to the cross. And then he was raised from the dead. He asks me to follow his path. To walk with him, the way of life everlasting.

I think it’s amazing that I get to walk with Christ, that the path he takes me down is the one he has been down before. He went ahead to make the path clear. He knows where all the tough bits are. He knows where my feet might stumble, where I might get tired. He knows how much it hurts, and how hard temptation is.

He sits with God in the place of joy everlasting, and some day I will be united to him. Sometimes, the heavenly joy bursts into my life like the sunshine breaks through the cloud. That taste of the things of God is the reward for pursuing. Sometimes, I get the privilege of looking like Christ in suffering, sacrificing for others.

‘Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.’ Jesus said (John 15:13). This costly love is the price to be paid for everlasting life.

Eternal life is a free gift that will cost you everything.

Encountering the love of God will transform you in such a way that you will give away your life, counting it as rubbish for the wonderful joy of knowing him.

I’m not quite sure how it works. Do we give our lives away, and in doing so gain eternal life? Or do we meet with Christ, and have his life imprinted on ours that he would put to death the sin in us?

Perhaps it can be viewed as a cycle. A cycle of death.

Christ meets us, and we give up our lives to him, sacrificing for others and in that place we meet Christ again, and we give ourselves up to him again, and then we sacrifice ourselves for others. and so on.

As I have walked with Jesus, I have noticed that is can be difficult to pin down exactly what God has been doing in me at any one time. But part of me finds the idea of cycles attractive. Possibly because that makes it more understandable.

Faith is not mere belief. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). I have the assurance that I’m going to end up looking a lot more like Jesus as I walk with him. The way shown to me is that of meeting Christ and walking with him, letting him show me the steps I must take. The steps of love, the steps of obedience.

Right now, I perhaps don’t love perfectly, thus don’t perfectly fulfil the law, thus perhaps parts of me are not yet perfectly dead. I trust that Christ, who has won eternal life for me will work eternal life into this earthly reality.

But I shall enjoy the walk. It is hard to climb a mountain, and the rain can be cold, the sun scorching and the ice bitter. Yet the path goes on, and the one who went before me did not stop, nor turn back. Yet there is something oddly satisfying in climbing a mountain, something which binds people together.

Dear Christ
I do trust you
Pretty much
Often not perfectly
So I’m glad this doesn’t depend upon my perfection

Christ, take me by the hand
I think myself so grown up
Yet I am just a child to you
A baby, who depends upon his father

You’re my perfect father
And you will take me by the hand
Guiding me down the Everlasting Way

Amen

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