Pastor Marc Likins
2 Corinthians 4 10-12:
10. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life
also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life
also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
My wife and I have a saying in our household when one of us feels as if we are really giving of ourselves or being “spent.” When this happens, one of us will catch the other’s eye, smirk, and jokingly say, “Death in me, life in you.”
Paul taught this principle in 2 Corinthians. To give our lives for others as Jesus did on the Cross for us, we must be willing to suffer and sacrifice out of the root of love for others, because all life-changing love is a substitutionary sacrifice. Simply put, suffering or sacrificing accompanies love.
Mag and I see this most in rearing children. When children (like ours) are little, they are needy and extremely dependent. This means they need someone to give up their independence so they can grow into theirs.
If we as parents are willing to forgo having a life for the next 15-20 years ☺ and kiss our freedom goodbye, we will read the same book over and over. We will answer the same question in 20 different ways. We will have the most unintellectual conversations about boogers and scary spiders. Why? Because we have chosen to give up our freedom for theirs.
But, if we choose to keep our freedom (which some people do), and we don’t let our children disrupt our lives, they won’t grow out of dependency and neediness. It’s them or us.
We either get rid of our freedom so they can grow into theirs or we can hold on to our freedom and they will never have it. The only way to love our children in a life-changing way is to suffer.
This principle plays out in all areas of life. Do you have needy friendships or disgruntled family members? Apply this principle. The better life you live, the more you love others. And the more you love others, the more suffering you will experience.
A tell-tale sign that you need to be reminded of this truth is when you avoid suffering, sacrificing and being inconvenienced for the needs of others.
I encourage you by the end of today to be able to look up at God, smile and say, “Death in me, so life in ________________.”