Dying to Self
My wonderful sister came into town and gave me something to chew on this past weekend. I thought it was worth sharing with the team! The truth she shared with me was that dying to self does NOT produce loneliness. The verse to meditate on with this comes from John 12:24 which states, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." Jesus was speaking to Andrew and Philip trying to explain that it was time for Him to die. He wanted them (and all of us) to realize the importance of dying to self. He was going to die to self in the most literal way SO THAT He would not remain alone in heaven with God, but so that we ALL could enjoy fellowship with Him forever and ever! Because of His decision to OBEY His Father and DIE to self, He produced the BIGGEST harvest ever... all those that are and will be saved! There will be true joy and fellowship in heaven because of this.
So, what are we to do? Realize that every time we "die to self," we are actually choosing fellowship opposed to loneliness. It's kind of strange, but it is so true! Dads, maybe this means letting go of the project to spend some quality time with your kids. Wives, maybe this means having a gentle and quiet spirit and allowing your husband to make the decision. Singles, maybe this means signing up to help with VBS or trying out Love Out Loud one Saturday instead of doing what YOU usually want to do. The challenge for all of us is to continually choose to die to self by putting others first. This means in every decision and every circumstance that happens on a daily basis. In so doing, we will produce a harvest... some two-fold, some 10-fold, some 100-fold... and we will NOT be lonely people!