We become what we love. When we are fixed and focused on who God is in His essential nature then the presence of His agape love in us sets us free to love in the same way: to love without any sense of needing a reward, to love for the sheer sake of love itself. Jesus put it this way, “I love you as the Father loves me”. Our testimony is that we are radically and outrageously loved in such a powerful and wonderful way that we have become transformed in our own nature! … More than anything, though, love is a verb, a doing word. I love, you love, he-she-it loves. We love, they love, the whole world loves, and God so loved the world that He gave His only son. Love is something you demonstrate, or it’s not worthy of the name. And to be properly worthy, love isn’t something that you demonstrate once, or even twice. It’s a permanent state, this pale reflection: a shadow of the awesome, staggering and unconditional love that we experience from the Father of us all. ~ Graham Cooke
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory… Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Colossians 3
Oh beloved, it is true. There is the greatest of lies foisted upon us by the world. And the lie is ever more insidious because it is partly true. Death is real. But the lie is that death is a monolith. We are told there is only kind.
This not true. Death comes in many forms.
Oh yes, the Death that Jesus did beat (quite soundly) at the cross and through His resurrection is a terrible, ghastly enemy. This death is the worst of foes, and beyond its gates is a permanence of terror that words are unable to contain. And the shadow this Death casts may be why we shy away from even speaking about it.
There is another death. And this one is no less violent. In fact, it is more violent than the Other. But the violence is clean and sure – and more permanent than the Death that is our enemy. The death is the end of another brutal and nagging enemy: me.
To be clear, this death is not the end of my breathing or the functioning of my brain. This death is the end of the dominance of that within me that would indeed bring me under the other Death’s authority – and converting me (literally, spiritually and completely) into whole new species of being.
The death of “me,” paves the way for a whole new Life to take preeminence in me and through me. For when Jesus died, He did it not that I would have some sort of path to self improvement by having the “tab” for my failures covered. No, He died that I would die along with Him and be ushered past the enemy’s gates into an eternal and changeless and fully Alive state in Him.
Can we see it? Before our death in Him, we were trying (and failing) to get everything we wanted from the world and everyone around us. But now, in Him, we have everything for which we could have ever dreamed – and more.
This complete change from completely empty to overwhelmingly full has finally given us the ability to actually Live as He lives. We are now enabled to give ourselves completely to others and to begin to give them what they need (Him).
So yeah, death feels a little weird. The direction we thought we had to our lives is taken away and replaced with a path of adventure beyond our dreams. It is an epic journey. But the weirdest thing about it, is that it is exactly what we were always looking for when we were trying to stay alive anyway.
Tonight is your night beloved. Time to die, that you might Love.
Written by Makala (Mak) Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of God, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, God’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
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Daily Quote: How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. Eternal years lie in his heart. For him time does not pass, it remains; and those who are in Christ share with him all the riches of limitless time and endless years. ~A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: It is better to trust in the Lord; Than to put confidence in man. ~Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)