This may seem totally unimaginable and entirely inconceivable let alone wholly impossible, but truth is it takes dying to love the way God calls us to love. The ultimate and greatest act of dying to love ever was Jesus’ death and resurrection whereby He died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead to pave the way for us to have the opportunity to have a forever love relationship with God we could not otherwise have. But dying to love doesn’t stop at Jesus’ death and resurrection. It begins there.
How so? Jesus’ followers are commanded to love the Lord with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves, and the love to which God calls us regarding others involves death to self. We are not to merely love the people we want to love. We are not to simply love those who are easy to love. We are not to love people only when we’re in the mood to love. We’re not to love only when it’s comfortable to love. We’re not commanded to love only when we get something in return. We are to love others period. Without any conditions. And this involves dying to self.
Examples? When our flesh wants to hate someone, when our flesh would rather do anything but love someone, when our flesh wants vengeance, when our flesh knows it will get nothing in return, when our flesh is exhausted and wants to do anything but make a sacrifice for someone, when our flesh know we’ll be rejected but we’re supposed to love anyway, when our flesh says no way will I love the person who keeps hurting me, when our flesh says no thank you I’d rather love those people over there, when our flesh says ain’t no way I’m going to love my enemy, when our flesh says I don’t mind SAYING I love you but no way will I demonstrate love in giving generously to that group of people, etc., we are to say NO to the flesh and YES to Jesus and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE with Christ’s love for Christ’s glory!
But isn’t this impossible to die to self and to live for Jesus including when it comes to loving others? In the flesh, it may seem totally impossible. But when we submit to God, He will give us the love by His Holy Spirit who lives inside His children to love others as ourselves. God will enable us to love the way we are called to love. And He will give us the strength to die to self in order to do so.
I hope you are encouraged – and challenged – reading the following verses as I am.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 KJV
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35
“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. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” John 12:24-25 KJV
Dear God, how can we possible consistently and humbly and faithfully love others as ourselves without dying to self? We need to die to self, and we need YOU and your love in order to do so. I call on you, oh God, to teach and enable each and every person who reads this message along with myself to LOVE as you command us to love. Oh, God, how painful it is to the flesh to die to self as we learn to live and love for you, oh Lord. But, oh God, how can we complain considering what you did on the cross, Jesus, the ultimate act of sacrifice, of death to self, of loving others. Oh, God, have mercy upon us all. Forgive us our whining. Forgive every way in which we have resisted your will for us concerning loving others. Oh, God, help us to love, oh Lord, thank you God, thank you Jesus, thank you oh God, AMEN! Hallelujah, God, I am so thankful oh Lord for the encouragement you gave me in writing this. Now help me and us all, dear God, to put this message into action. Thank you Father, AMEN!