I’ve read this verse in Galatians 2:20 so many times, but never before it struck me how intimate and revealing of the reality of our union with Christ Paul’s words are. So, I took the liberty to paraphrase it. I imagined Paul saying it in simpler words, and the result is an unforgettable, life-transforming, and vibrant pledge of allegiance to Christ. My hope is that it’ll renew your love and desire to glorify God every day with all your strength. God bless.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
My desire for the things of this world died the day I met Jesus. I turned back from my sins and embraced the crucified Christ. I no longer live to fulfill my own carnal desires, but to fulfill the desires of my Savior, whose Spirit lives inside of me. And whatever I experience in this world, whatever joys, successes, failures or hardships, I go through them all by trusting in Jesus, who loved me with an indescribable love and offered himself to God to save my life.
“I die every day to me, to live every day for you Lord.”♥️
Even if we do not believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world, it is impossible to look at what he did and not to wonder: what in the world is this? Here is a man, a Jew from Nazareth fully convinced and expectant, even eager to die crucified!!!
And crucified he was…unjustly. Not even one of his enemies could find a single fault in Him. The Bible says that anguished and afflicted, he did not spoke a word to defend himself, but that he willingly went to the cross! How can this be? Does such a thing make sense? Why would anyone be willing to suffer humiliation, scorn, and severe beatings at the hands of his enemies were it not for a very, very, very good reason?
And that his reason, according to Him, was you and me, shouldn’t that astonish us beyond measure? Who was Him, who willingly died for ME? Could He really come from God? What have I done that deserves such a death? Even more intriguing, what did he did? And if the answer to our second question is “nothing”, wouldn’t be the most reasonable thing to search for answers?
The life and dead of Jesus of Nazareth does not make sense unless He was who He said He was, the Son of God, and Savior of the world…
“It is our calling, as the bridegroom’s friends, to woo and to win souls to Christ, to set him forth to the people as crucified among them, to present him in all his attractive excellencies, that all hearts may be ravished with his beauty and charmed into his arms by love.” – John Flavel
“Making sense out of suffering” is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It explains suffering from the Christian perspective in a very unique and engaging way. I highly recommend it. This is a book that’ll make you think, that’ll make you wonder, that’ll make you understand suffering is not at all what you thought it was…
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. (Matthew 27:12-14)
In this short portion of the Scripture, we behold Jesus’s humanity under the complete control of the Holy Spirit, and in total subjection to the Father; his divine nature in total control of his human response—the perfect example of how we are supposed to live.
Although Jesus was totally human, his desire for self-vindication, (that had to be present in him if He was totally human) was tamed, so to speak, by His desire to do the will of God, and fulfill all that was expected from Him as the prophesied Messiah.
Jesus’ majesty was magnificently displayed when He remained silent on the face of false accusations. He acted with a dignity that we so often lack when we face our enemies. Jesus did not need to justify himself, because He was himself righteousness personified. This is a perfect picture of the Prince of Peace displaying the glorious majesty of the holiness of God, the supreme King over all creation.
“An evildoer listens closely to wicked lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive and malicious tongue.” – Proverbs 17: 4
What are the news that interests us the most, the things that truly grab our attention? Evildoers enjoy hearing wicked stuff and liars love to hear destructive, malicious gossip. So, Solomon ‘s consideration serves two purposes: It helps us to understand how the wicked think and what they enjoy, and it also opens our eyes to the wickedness within our hearts.
So, what do we enjoy hearing the most, what really grabs our attention? If we live in the light, we are not supposed to enjoy those things anymore…
“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true).”
Have you ever avoided witnessing to someone because you think that person is so wicked he’s beyond redemption?
This instruction by John Calvin will help you to see that person in the right light so that you are able not only to talk to him about Jesus but also enjoy it:
When sharing the Gospel with people, “your duty is to consider, not what kind of persons they are, but what God wishes them to be.”
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2: 3
Has it ever happened to you that while you’re praying, all of a sudden you realize how amazing it is that the God of the universe is actually listening to you?
God listens to you! No matter how grave your sins are, or how much you’ve failed Him, regardless of the fact that you have nothing to offer to Him; because you are His child… He listens.
Why would a holy and perfect God listen to treacherous, sinful, and unfaithful creatures like us? God doesn’t have a single reason to love us, much less listen to us, yet He does it! How undeserving the privilege of prayer is! Have you ever thanked God for it?
David understood the wonder of prayer, that’s why at the end of Psalm 66 he exclaimed: “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”
“Thank you Lord for listening to me. Thank you for allowing me to be in your presence. Thank you for making it possible through your Son Jesus Christ…”
“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”” – John 5:6
At first sight, this question of Jesus seems way too obvious, how could he possibly ask such a question? Doesn’t every sick person want to get well? No, there are plenty of people who, although are suffering, hold on to their condition like the starving dog holds onto his old, hollow, dirty bone.
No, not everyone wants to be healed, not everyone wants to be forgiven, and not everyone wants to be cleansed. I’ve known plenty of people who when asked if they wanted to get out of their pit of misery, resolutely replied, “I don’t want anything to do with your God,” such as the homeless that lived for many years outside our home, the semi-paralyzed woman we visited once, the many atheists who prefer to believe in chance rather than believing in God, and the innumerable “believers” that profess to love God, but love the world. Jesus’ question was and still is very appropriate.
How about you: Do you want to be healed? Do you want to be saved? Do you really want to be cleansed from your sins?
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)