Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Practicing Death

UV 2049/10000 Practicing Death
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
John 12 v 24

Death in nature is an essential precursor to growth, renewal and fruitfulness. Jesus by embracing absolute death on our behalf caused many including us to the first fruit of God. As I meditated on this uni-verse, a new thought or concept came to mind – that we too should daily “practice death” in our lives. The seed of sin, pride, lust of the flesh and lust of the eye needs to fall down into the ground and die. Such death will ensure that the weeds of evil do not multiply in our nature and in our lives. Usain Bolt, the legendary fastest runner in the world over three successive Olympics having won a triple triple of gold medals gave thanks and glory to God after winning each race. But photographs of him in bed with a Brazilian student have gone viral destroying his testimony. He even goes to the extent of justifying his having a fling with many women as his fame attracts women to “keep throwing themselves at him.” If his faith is true, he needs to be taught to practice death of his inner lust and if his life and testimony are to be really fruitful. Likewise, in each of our lives we need to identify the seed of pride or lust and allow it to fall and die.

Some good seed or some of the good things in our lives also need to die in order to reproduce something even better. Some desire of ours may not necessarily be a bad thing but the Lord might impress on our hearts to let it die. This is what is meant when Jesus said, “ If any man wants to follow me, He must carry His cross daily and deny himself.” We need to crucify or put to death some part of ourselves daily so that the new life, the new nature, the Christ nature may grow and thrive in us. We need to put to death some of our likes and dislikes. When Peter saw the vision of all kinds of unclean animals and he was asked to eat them, he was being asked to put to death the feeling that the gospel was not meant for the Roman centurion, Cornelius. Many of our hidden prejudices and traditions that we love need to be put an end to.

St Paul put to death his past priorities and goals. What was once valuable to him was now only garbage to him, implying that he had died to many aspects of his past. We could also put to death a certain habit or pattern of doing things as the Spirit lays it upon our hearts to do so. We need to also put to death our doubts and fears with such certitude that these have no possibility or opportunity to resurrect and reappear in our lives. In our relationships, we can put to death certain arguments and quarrels that we tend to have repeatedly on the very same issues with the same people. The most challenging aspect by far is putting to death our egos that often stand in the way of our growth and fruitfulness.

Prateep V Philip

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