Psalm 116:15-19 ESV
“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!”
Death of the Saints
When Jesus Christ died on that cross for our sins, he didn’t give up his life for us just so we could be forgiven our sin, and just so we could go to heaven. He died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).
When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, thus, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily and follow (obey) Jesus. This is about dying daily to sin and to self, and daily walking in obedience to our Lord. He said if we hold on to our old lives, we will lose them for eternity, but if for the sake of Jesus, we lose our old lives, then we have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26).
So, you see, eternal life with God is not promised to us based on a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Eternal life is only promised to us if we die daily to sin and to self and if daily we walk in surrender and in obedience to our Lord (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).
This is not about perfection, though. This is not saying that we will never sin or that we will never fail God. But it is saying that sin is no longer our master. Jesus is. And, daily we must be putting sin to death by the Spirit.
I Am His Servant
Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are delivered from our slavery (bondage) to sin so that sin no longer has dominion over our lives. Now Jesus Christ is our master, and we now obey him instead of obeying our flesh. Now we live our lives for Christ in the power of God (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
Now we are God’s possession, and our lives are to be lived for his glory and praise and not for our own glory and praise, or for our own selfish will. We are committed to our Lord in service to him, to do his will for our lives, to go wherever he sends us, to do what he has called us to do, and to say whatever it is he gives us to say for his glory and praise.
So, to know God’s will for our lives and what he requires of us, we must daily be in his word, listening to our Lord, and doing what he says. But this isn’t just about reading an instruction manual. We need the Holy Spirit living within us, guiding us into all truth, and making God’s word alive to us.
For, the word of God is spiritually discerned. And, it is the living word of God to our lives today. And, the Spirit of God within us will make the word of God ever so practical to our lives where we live and work today, in 2020. He will direct our paths, and he will lead us in the way we should go.
A Sacrifice of Praise
Because of all that the Lord has done for us, we should be those who regularly give him praise and thanksgiving. For, all that we have, and all that we are in Christ Jesus is because of him, not of ourselves. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ.
As well, when the Lord uses us for his glory in other people’s lives, or when he inspires us to write something or to share something, or if he gifts us in certain ways and we use those gifts, we should give him all the glory and take no glory for ourselves.
But praise and thanksgiving to God are not just with words, but it is with our actions. If we are truly thankful to the Lord for all he has done for us, it should be reflected in how we live our lives. If we say we are grateful for his salvation, then we should be living like we are free from sin.
For, when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are united with Christ. We become one with him like in a marriage relationship. So, faith in Jesus Christ is much like marriage vows.
Faith in Jesus is a promise to leave our lives of sin and singleness behind us to follow our Lord in obedience to his will for our lives. Jesus is now our master, and we belong to him. And, our lives are now committed to him to obeying him with our lives, and for us not to continue living like we did when we were single (before we were united with him in faith).
But we don’t live in seclusion in our faith in Jesus Christ. This new life in Christ is not just for us so we can go to heaven when we die. This new life in Christ is to be shared with others so that they can come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and so that they can walk in fellowship with him, too.
So, we live the Christian life, not only in surrender to our Lord, and in obedience to him, but we live the Christian life in the presence of the people, and in the presence of the saints of God as a testimony to our faith in Jesus and of his saving grace. For, none of us lives to ourselves alone.
And, when this life is over, and we go to meet our Lord, and to be with him forever, all that we suffered in this life for the sake of the name of Jesus, and for the sake of his gospel message, and for the salvation of human lives, will be worth it all.
Never Grow Old
By James C Moore, 1914
I have heard of a land
On the faraway strand,
’Tis a beautiful home of the soul;
Built by Jesus on high,
There we never shall die,
’Tis a land where we never grow old.
In that beautiful home
Where we’ll never more roam,
We shall be in the sweet by and by;
Happy praise to the King
Through eternity sing,
’Tis a land where we never shall die.
When our work here is done
And the life crown is won,
And our troubles and trials are o’er;
All our sorrow will end,
And our voices will blend
With the loved ones who’ve gone on before.
Never grow old, Where we’ll never grow old,
In a land where we’ll never grow old;
Never grow old, Where we’ll never grow old,
In a land where we’ll never grow old.
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