Memorial Day is a day we should be thinking about all those who have died for the freedom we have in our country, at least for now.
And although each one of those deaths is so vitally important to us, there are two deaths we must be “thinking about” every day.
Christ’s death, and ours.
We are all thankful for Jesus going to the cross in order for our sin debt to be paid so that we can, by faith in His finished work, receive the gift of eternal life. But we must not forget that when He died, WE died with Him. We died with Him in order that we could also be raised with Him to “walk in a new way of life” (Romans 6:4). He has given His life to us. We have been given this new life because He wants us to live it! This is a truth we sadly ignore all too often, and its consequences are always disastrous.
Paul writes, “So if you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).
Now, Paul isn’t saying we should live a “hidden” life that no one sees. The life that God wants us to show is Christ’s life! We are supposed to die to the old life that was focused on the ways of this world. Paul makes that very clear.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:5-9).
Right now you’re probably saying, “I’ve read this all before, but it’s impossible for me to do this!” You’re right, you can’t. Living the new life can only come from a renewed mind that is “Set…on things above”. Peter says, God “has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 3-4).
No matter how you may want to look at it, we are living in a world of corruption. God has commanded us to live apart from it, and He’s told us specifically what we are to do. But in order to do so, we must surrender our will to His.
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:17-32).
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Lord, help us to always remember these two deaths. These we must NEVER forget.
May God bless you all!
We wish to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ without whom this ministry would not be possible.
U.N.C.L.E. Ministry is affiliated ONLY with Jesus Christ to build up the body of believers who comprise His church…for His glory!