Dying to Live
How would you define “the good life”? What makes life rich and full? Maybe you experience it in relationships, food, or spending time outdoors. Or maybe the good life feels just out of reach—if you had a bit more money, time, or pre-Covid “normalcy” then you’d experience happiness in life.
In the Bible, Jesus taught that real life—the good life that we all desire—is found in giving up our own selfish desires and attitudes so that God can grow his life in us. This is often called dying to self so that we can really live as God, our Creator, intends us to.
We hear this truth both in Jesus’ teachings and elsewhere. Jesus declared, “Whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25). The apostle Paul echoes this in his powerful testimony: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Imagine beginning every day with a prayer like this: “Lord, show me how you are calling me to die today so that you can live more fully in and through me.” Does that seem strange? Well, it does go against our human nature stuck in sin, but in God’s strength we can give up that old way of life and take on a new life, rooted fully in Jesus Christ. Only then can we really live “the good life.”
September’s author, Syd Hielema, serves the Christian Reformed Church in North America as the director of a ministry project called Connections II. He has also served with Faith Formation Ministries, as a professor of theology and youth ministry at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, and as a chaplain and professor at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Syd has been married to Evelyn for 43 years, and they enjoy bird watching near their home in Ancaster.
As you read the Today devotions this month, may you be refreshed, refocused, and renewed in God’s Word!