Friday, November 8, 2013

Dead to the world

I opened my eyes to squint at the time on my computer = 6-something. "Why did he turn on the light in the other room?" I groused silently at my husband. "He knows light wakes me." But I got up.

Ummm, the light wasn't coming from a bulb. We have a 2'X3' window in the other room. It was sunlight insisting it was day. I checked my watch: it was actually 8:30 a.m. That fine man was long gone to teach. And I'd slept like the dead through his departure. "Sorry, dear."

"Dead to the world" has several meanings besides sleeping deeply. When we were young, the pastor would immerse converts in baptism with these words: "... by which I demonstrate I am dead to the world and the world is dead to me." Have you heard that lately?

Seems we forget that, just as we are present while sleeping, we are fully alive in the world. For most of us, being "dead to the world" won't mean fleeing into a monastery or living in the dark woods far from civilization. When we're dead asleep, we're completely on the bed. Our bodies, minds, spirits, and emotions stay with us.

But our state is altered. We wait unconscious to surroundings, our bodies and minds renewing themselves in rest.

That's how it is to be spiritually "dead to the world." The affections and attractions of our surroundings no longer capture our attention. We are attuned to the Father's presence and His work. Though we are in the world, we wait for God's direction, uninterested in participating in impure or evil thoughts or actions.

Would you like to spend the day with God, watching only Him, doing only what He asks of you? That's what we promised Him and our witnesses when we were baptized.

God opens our eyes to the needy, shares our skills with the helpless, and spreads our love among the broken ... as we live dead to the world and alive to Christ Jesus our Lord.

Read more:
*What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. Psalm 50:16-17 NEV

*Jesus said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I tell you?" Luke 6:46 NEV

*What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. From Romans 6 ESV

Moravian Prayer: We thank you Lord for your willingness to forgive our foolish acts and decisions. May we find ways to follow your example and lead more honest lives deserving of your love. Amen.

C.S. Lewis: He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.

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