When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Let me share a little unsolicited advice in dating and relationships. You should never invite someone into a relationship with the words, “I love you. Come die.” It might have worked for Romeo and Juliet, but I’m certain Shakespeare squeezed the only ounce of romance from that line. I mean, think about it:
I love you. Come die.
Not exactly painting a portrait of a bright future. Not very high on the scale of warm fuzzies. Coming from the wrong person, it would likely cause you to reach for your phone and call the police. But from Jesus, “I love you. Come die,” is not a threat. It’s an amazing invitation to live.
Listen, it’s one thing to be exposed to Jesus. Many people are exposed to Jesus. Some like what they see, while others don’t. Some are drawn to His Church, while others are repelled. Some choose to believe, while others hesitate or even refuse. But it’s something entirely different to realize you are dead and Christ lives in you.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Let this soak in for a moment. We were taken to the cross with Jesus, and died there. By trusting in Him, that death is applied to us, and the resurrection is as well. It’s amazingly powerful to realize that Christ lives—is living, is acting, is leading, is life in me.
I love you. Come die… and you will find life.
It’s an invitation and revelation from God’s own Spirit that changes the course of our lives. It changes the essence of who we are. I am no longer Pete. Doing things for Pete. Living life for Pete. Serving God with Pete’s own efforts. But God’s Word and His Spirit call us into a deeper, more profound existence:
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25, emphasis mine)
We’ve died to a life defined by self and we’re alive to Christ. In short, the Son of God indwells us. Isn’t that incredible?
Lord, I’ve been trying to save my life, when, in Your love, I died with You and You filled me with Your life. You’ve been alive in me all along. Lord, I praise You that I don’t need more strength. You are my strength. I don’t need to chase after Your Spirit. Your Spirit is in me. I collapse before You today as one who is dead to self and alive through You. Please show me one new way You wish to live through me today. Amen.