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Here Lies Nathan

June 28, 2010

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”  (Gal. 6:14)

I am a dead man walking.  When I believed in Jesus Christ I joined him not only in his righteousness but in his death as well.  His cross is my cross and it killed the “old” Nathan who was dominated by the logic of the world. 

When I was crucified, I died to two things.  First, I died to the search for my own glory.  We naturally seek our own glory.  Every choice we make in the flesh is a choice to preserve our worth in our own mind and in the minds of others.  Our clothes, our hairstyle, our relationships, our words, our romances, our careers, our religion, and our possessions are all utensils we use to  attempt to boast in our lives.  Paul tells us that he forbids himself to “boast” in anything except the cross.  This, of course, refers to the cross of Jesus but it also refers to the death of the “old” Paul on the cross.  Over and over again in 2 Corinthians Paul claims that he will not boast in his greatness and strength but in his weaknesses.  Every moment of our Christian life there is a decision to make:  “Do I glory in my self or do I glory in Christ and his cross?”

The cross kills our self glory and its a good thing, because our self glory has been killing us.  When we seek our own glory we are on a lustful path that is never satisfied.  How much glory is enough to finally give our life worth?  How many accomplishment or compliments will it take to bring peace to our soul?  Our search for self glory also kills our relationships, because our glory will have to be measured against the glory of others.  Nothing is uglier than a married couple fighting for personal boasting.  The cross is an act of grace and grace kills self boasting.  Grace is God’s charity to undeserving people.  How can we boast at such and immeasurable gift for such undeserving recipients?  When we die to the boasting in our own lives we become free from the need to use the things and people around us.  We become free to give ourselves away. 

Second, I died to my worldly attachments.  The person who is attached to the temporary things of this world cannot be immersed in the things of God.  Paul says that our transformation involves a double crucifixion:  “the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”  This means that the world no longer has its power over us as believers.  It also means that we no longer are respectable and logical to the world – remember, the cross is foolishness to the world.  The world opposes and kills what it doesn’t understand.  Paul knew this well.  It will oppose us too.  We have become citizens of a heavenly kingdom and as such we no longer value the things of this world to the same degree.  So we “drop our nets” and follow Jesus. 

Jesus told us that we must take up our cross “daily.”  This means that each day, if not each moment, we will have to monitor our boasting and our attachments.  Start this week off with a dose of crucifixion and discover the new life that it yields.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lorraine permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:00 am

    Easier said then done, but worthy of the challenge.

  2. Sandy Dement permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:24 am

    This is a difficult thing to do. Some days I think I am better at this than other days. Just when I think I’m making good progress… self slips in …soooo back around that mountain I go again.

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