Dying to live

 

The trees up here are all changing colors, which is a nice difference from home. And I couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear as I walked yesterday looking at the trees and all their brilliant shades of yellow and gold and red and orange. Natives probably thought I was bonkers.

But the one thought that kept circling my mind is the irony of autumn, because we ooo and ahh over the changing colors of the leaves even though that means the trees are pretty much shutting down for the winter. They’re going to sleep so they can wake up again in spring.

I think autumn is one of my favorite symbols of the new life we have in Jesus as Christ followers.

Trees along the road to the Microsoft Campus, Bellevue, WA

Trees along the road to the Microsoft Campus, Bellevue, WA

Today’s verse is Galatians 2:20.

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Death isn’t something we really like to think about. It’s usually surrounded by sorrow and tragedy, but death is a part of life. And as a Christ follower, death is something to look forward to. Jesus said time and time again during His stint on Earth that if people wanted to follow Him, they had to die to self.

What does that even mean? Die to self? Be crucified with Christ? They’re very beautiful pictures, but from a practical standpoint, what do they mean?

Practically speaking, at least the way I understand it, it means to say no to what your old self would have done and say yes to what Christ is telling you to do, what the Bible says to do. It means to live the way the Bible says. It means to conduct your business and your life as though you were Christ’s representative on Earth–which, actually, you are.

I think it’s interesting that we have to die before we can really live for something. Like the trees, if we want to live again in spring, we need to die in autumn.

If you have chosen to believe in Christ, you are a new creation. The person who you used to be is gone, and God has given you a new life now. So you don’t have to make the same old choices you made before. You can start over, just like springtime.

So the next time you see a tree blazing in the brilliant colors of autumn, remember that if you follow Christ, you’re dead to yourself and alive to live for Him. And with Him, you’ll never die again. 

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