“and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, …But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…” Eph. 2:1-10
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Cor. 4:16
I sat on the floor of a small nursing home room floor along with a bunch of other people squeezed in there with me as we gathered together to visit an elderly friend and to bring him a recovery group meeting which I only years later realized was false religion worshiping a false god helping people to trudge down the pathway to hell all the while purporting to help people to get well. In all honesty, I wasn’t interested in the meeting. I wasn’t interested in the friend we were visiting. And I must have barely noticed his sweet precious wife who lay in the bed next to his getting closer and closer to dying.
See, I, entrenched in my sin, still legally married though my husband had abandoned me and was divorcing me, was entranced and enthralled and obsessed with one of the men who had joined our gathering. I was “awake” only just enough to notice something special about this sweet and gentle lady, just enough to make me think I should come back and visit her.
I did. I came back a few times from what I recall to visit this woman who soon was in fact dying. Only all these years later do I see clearly what exactly drew me back. I thought I went merely as something nice to do for someone else. Little did I know what the Lord was showing me.
This woman who lay dying had a peace, a joy, a light, a love, a compassion, a rest, a trust, a knowing, a contentment, a hope, like I do not believe I had ever seen in anyone. Her entire focus when I visited was on me, and she expressed to me her concern about my wanting to become involved with this man once I divorced. She gave no regard to herself. To her condition. To her dying. To her pain. To anything about herself. She came across as selfless. So peaceful she was. No moaning. No groaning. No whining. No murmuring. No complaining. I didn’t understand.
Now I do. This lovely tender and kind woman wasn’t dying. She was living. Oh, her body was dying alright. That was plain and clear. But she had repented and placed her faith solidly in Christ. Her outer shell, her outer woman, was dying. But she had been renewed in Christ. She had died to self, and was living for the Lord Jesus Christ. And, even as her life on earth was coming to an end, she had perfect hope and trust she would live forever with the Lord by His Grace through her faith in Him. She had been forgiven by God and was at peace with Him.
Not only was she physically dying, but one of her final acts on this earth was how she laid down her life for me. Rather than using my visit for herself, she used my visit to try to help me in her loving way to see I was about to go down a path the Lord didn’t want me to go down. She saw the painful road I was headed down, and she in Christ’s love didn’t want me to go down it.
Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross so we could repent and believe in Him and live for ourselves, but so we could die to self and live for Him, so we could love the Lord with all our hearts and love others in Christ’s name. That woman died many years ago, but I am quite sure she is more alive than ever because she has been promised an everlasting relationship with the Lord. She spent her time dying living for the Lord and for others.
A beautiful, and poignant, reminder, isn’t it, that we who are promised everlasting life through Christ are to die daily to our selves and to live wholly for Him who is Lord!