25 Oct No Resurrection Life without Dying to Self
After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ”
When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” Acts 21:10-14
The Apostle Paul was reassuring his loved ones that he was not afraid to die if necessary for the sake of the gospel. History tells us that eventually he did die for his faith in Jesus Christ on the outskirts of Rome as he was beheaded by the Romans.
As I contrast the persecutions of the early church with today’s America, I am struck by how much easier believers have it in this country. Today, in other countries, thousands of people lose their lives because of their faith in Jesus. We are largely insulated from today’s persecutions of Christians because it is often ignored by the press or we may not be aware of what’s happening in other countries. But there is the call for every believer to lay their life down for the sake of the gospel. That can take on a myriad of present day applications.
To lay my life down for Him today involves taking time in His presence praying for this nation, praying for my community and the people I pastor. I must be open to God’s voice as to how He would call me to lay my life down for others today. That can mean laying aside certain things in my schedule and taking the time to help others. I am grateful to live in a free country where I can openly worship my Lord and be a strong witness to others without the fear of being killed for my faith. But I must be willing to die for Jesus if I am called to.
It certainly includes making financial sacrifice as my wife and I faithfully give of our tithe (at least 10% of our income) along with offerings to missions, to the poor and others in need. But there is a fresh reminder from this scripture that I am inspired to fully obey the Lord in any way that He would ask me to lay my life down for His people and His kingdom. If you want to experience His Resurrection Life and Power in your life, your marriage, your finances and your workplace, then you’ll need to be ready to lay your life down and die to self.
Lord Jesus, help me this day to be sensitive to your voice so that I can offer my life as a living sacrifice for You and for the people You would have me serve. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me a heart of humility that is ready to serve others as You would lead me this day.