Why We Need to Learn to Die

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 08/18/2016

Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” In Look and Live, Matt Papa explains one reason why we need to learn to die:

[B]eholding the Lord’s glory changes us to be more like Him. We become loving, joyful, peaceful.

But that’s not all....

Becoming like Jesus is not merely about gaining greater emotional stability. It is about learning to die. It is about sacrifice for the good of others. Suffering for the joy of others. In this, God’s glory will be seen.

We behold the glory of the Lord by thinking—by meditating on the gospel—but we also behold by doing. We see the glory of the Lord through giving, serving, sharing. All of these are a means of letting our eyes adjust....

Every time we inconvenience ourselves to achieve the happiness of someone else, we understand the love of God a little more. The cross comes into focus.

If you adopt a child, you are letting your eyes adjust to the glory of God’s Father-heart—His predestining you and adopting you into His family. You are seeing the cost He paid for your soul. How patient He was to wait for you. How helpless and alone you were and how gentle and kind He is.

If you choose to live overseas to do mission work, you are letting your eyes adjust to the glory of God’s willingness to come to our world, to make himself a stranger for your sake. You are understanding what it is to be misunderstood, to be persecuted for the sake of love and righteousness. You are beholding Glory....

If you befriend someone who doesn’t deserve your friendship, or perhaps someone who doesn’t have very many friends, what are you doing? Beholding Glory. You are seeing the glory of the One who loved His enemies enough to bleed for them.

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how a life conformed to Jesus’ humility and sacrificial love is a powerful testimony of His beauty to those who don’t know Him. Now we’re right back to that idea, with one thing added: Not only do the everyday opportunities you take to love people sacrificially show other people the glory of God, but they also reveal more of God’s glory to you.

In our culture, we’re constantly being pushed to think “bigger” regarding what we can do for the Kingdom, but I’m becoming more and more convicted of the need for all of us to think smaller. It’s the small act of sacrifice right in front of you today that will reveal to someone the beauty of Christ. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.