Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dying is Not an End

Not long after I spent some time thinking about dying, God reinforced the lesson through a fantastic little book called A Gospel Primer for Christians. The author, Milton Vincent, writes (hyperlinks are to the Scriptures footnoted in the book):

God is committed to my dying every day, and He calls me to that same commitment. ...When my flesh yearns for some prohibited thing, I must die. When called to do something I don't want to do, I must die. When I wish to be selfish and serve no one, I must die. When shattered by hardships that I despise, I must die. When wanting to cling to wrongs done against me, I must die. When enticed by allurements of the world, I must die. When wishing to keep besetting sins secret, I must die. When wants that are borderline needs are left unmet, I must die. When dreams that are good seem shoved aside, I must die.

...Thankfully, the gospel teaches me that dying is not an end, but a beginning. For after Christ took up His cross and died, God raised Him from the dead, exalted Him to the highest heaven, and drew Him into His bosom. These facts surrounding Christ's resurrection stand as proof positive that God will not leave me for dead, but will raise me similarly, if I would only allow myself to die. Indeed, on the other side of each layer of dying lie experiences of a life with God that are far richer, far higher, and far more intimate than anything I would have otherwise known.

In God's economy, death is the way to life.

This book is worth EVERY PENNY of the $10.95 it costs here (shipping is free--and there's also a dramatic quantity discount). It is an invaluable resource for preaching the gospel to yourself!


Jules said...

I love the first paragraph of that quote, especially this line "When wants that are borderline needs are left unmet, I must die." This has been a challenge for me with our budget.

MInTheGap said...

It's true-- Paul said that he died daily. We truly don't get the whole concept of death to the flesh in a culture where the flesh is so much "fun".