*Pastor’s Note: This is another short article I wrote in the late 90s along with some others for the Church section of the local newspaper where we lived in Globe, Arizona. I thought it might interest my readers and I HAVE updated some of the Scriptures references. All in all, it is pretty much as it was published in the Church editorial of the newspaper. The pictures were added for this posting.
I want to take this time to let you know that one of the most thankful things in my life is being associated with brothers and sisters who love the Lord AND their fellow man so much that they would spend part of their lives praying for others!!!
The Bible tells us that no greater love is there than when someone lays down their life for another. The world looks at that as someone who would face death for another and that is part of it, but Jesus already faced that part. What this means in the spiritual is a wholly different thing and I want you to think about this:
When you spend you time in prayer for another that is time in your life that you will never recoup. It is time that you are giving up because you love your fellow man AND the Lord above so much that you would rather spend part of your life in communion and fellowship with the Spirit of God for the spirit of mankind!
THAT is giving your life, minute by minute, hour by hour etc., however long it takes and how ever long you unselfishly put aside the things your human nature would rather do just so that you can do what your spiritual nature deems is more important!
When you put your life on the line as far as choosing a physical death, it is a once in a lifetime thing, over and done with. Yes, it is heroic, but how much more value is there in putting your life on hold, over and over and over again so that others might have a more abundant lifestyle?
Remember that the Word of God tells us:
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13).
And Paul reaffirms this very thought when he mentioned in his letter to the Corinthians, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:31).
We all know that means a spiritual death, by putting the “old human nature” to death so that the spiritual man can have ascendance over the human nature. That should be the “hint” that what the Holy Spirit is telling us when He says to lay down our life for another, it is referring to laying or putting down our human nature, the things that we selfishly want for ourselves so that we can give of ourselves unselfishly for the lives of others! You do that every time you stop to pray. Every time you stop your natural inclinations and use your time to commune with your Heavenly Father, you are laying your natural life on the line!
I also want you to consider this: Jesus died on a cross of pain and torture to pay for our sinfulness and purchase for us a place with Him at the Father’s throne. But, unlike some like to portray, He didn’t stay on that cross and He certainly didn’t stay in the tomb!! Rather, He arose again that He might actually LIVE for us. Now, what an awesome example of living for others that truly is! Aren’t we supposed to do the same? Think about it.
Remember, Jesus said that the Father is looking for those who will worship Him, the Father, in Spirit and Truth, for God, the Father IS a Spirit and those that worship Him can’t do it in the natural, (John 4:24), you have to put the natural man aside, lay your natural life aside, lay it down, so that you can allow the spiritual man inside to live for the Father and for others!!
This is a lot to think about and it is not something that is taught very often or in many places, but just as the Apostle Paul told the scholars in Athens, I say the same thing, “let us REASON together.” I guarantee that if you give it a little thought, you will see it clearly in the Scriptures, in ALL the Scriptures and not just a few and you will see that I am speaking truth.
God bless you richly!
Pastor Roland Ledoux
Oasis Bible Ministry