This week’s devotionals are written by hospice chaplain April Knoke and can be found in the YouVersion reading plan, “Out of Death’s Shadow.”
We see death to life repeated over and over as a way to show us examples of our life in Christ. Winter to spring – to summer – to fall – to winter. Hard, brown ground to soft, green grass. Seeds to trees – to fruit – to harvest/eating – to seed.
Christ promises us a new life based on what he did for us, but we also have to do our part. He tells us the way to new life is to die to ourselves and our sin nature. We have an example of this in what He did by going to the cross, not just dying to sin but literally offering up his body to death. The hard part is done, yet we still struggle between our natural and spiritual selves. Which one will come out the winner?
It is up to us to decide and to win that part of the battle. It’s ok to struggle as long as our seedling keeps growing; however slowly, growth is good. Each time, the struggle gets a little bit easier, and one day we will burst forth through that tough soil out into the warm sunlight. Know that there is more growth to come! If we put to death, for good, those things that separate us from God, we will be able to put down strong roots for a life of growth in Christ, a distinct difference from the path of life we had been on.
As we see in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, we are called to this new life—reconciliation—from the old to the new.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (KJV)
When we embrace the truth of being a new creature living a new life, not just physically but spiritually and emotionally, we will then be able to grasp the fullness of who we truly are in Christ!