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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 9:00 pm | A Few Clouds 58º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: How to Be Obedient Unto Death

As we once again come to that time of year when we observe Passover and Easter, I felt compelled to reflect on what those events mean to me personally.

Paul beautifully describes how we are to look at Christ in Philippians 2:5-8: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped. But made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross.”

That pretty well sums up how Christians observe Holy Week.

Now, I do my best to be obedient to my Father in Heaven, but I’m not so sure about this being obedient unto death! If confronted by someone wanting to take my life since I confess Christ as my Lord and Savior, I honestly don’t know how I would react to such a confrontation.

What’s important is that my Lord knows exactly how I will react, if that happens to be His plan for my life.

More important, I know His present purpose for me — to simply share my thoughts and writings with those who will listen. I find great joy in sharing what I learn through these discussions and occasional talks He allows me to give.

Enough about me. How about you?

Do you have a handle on your purpose in life? We’re all God’s children, yet many have not come to grips with that reality. I was 40 before I had any understanding of the special relationship available with the Creator of the Universe and the fact that I was made in His image.

In Genesis 1:26-27, we’re informed, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.”

I find it gratifying to know that My Father in Heaven created us in His image, and I know He has a special purpose for each person He has created.

We’re all here as His ambassadors whether we know it or not. Since we’ve all been created in God’s wonderful image, we inherently are designed to be like Him.

Unfortunately, the free will He has so graciously given us causes many to gravitate away from Him and become consumed by the world in which we live. It’s quite easy to get caught up in our human nature and distance ourselves from our Maker. In fact, it’s a daily battle to stay close to God and not get consumed in the ways of this world.

Here’s some helpful scripture to hang onto as you strive to remain in God’s will.

In 1 John 2:15-16, we’re instructed, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world.”

In verse 17, John continues, “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

And that’s what our Heavenly Father wants for all His creation. If you find this discussion contrary to the way you presently live, I trust you will seek God’s will for your life this day forward.

For most who follow Christ, our opportunity to be obedient unto death will come at the eventual end of our earthly existence. I’m prepared to remain faithful to that day when God takes me home even though I doubt it will be soon. Yes, with age there will be numerous trials, but my love for God only increases as my life goes on.

I trust you’ll join me in loving God with all your heart, all your mind, all you soul and all your strength and loving others as we love ourselves. To God be the glory!

Passages to Ponder

» 1 Samuel 15:22-23

» Isaiah 1:18-20

» Jeremiah 26:13

» Romans 5:19-20

» Titus 1:15-16

» 1 Peter 4:16-17

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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