Scripture reading: John 12:24-25
St. Justine said, “There is nothing which we more earnestly desire than to endure torments for the sake of our Lora Jesus Christ; for this is what will promote our happiness, and give us confidence at his bar, where all men must appear and be judged”. Verse 24 of our scriptural reference says, “I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain, unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains.” (GNB) Affirming this, St. Paul writing to the Corinthians Christians said, “At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that his life also may be seen in our bodies. Throughout our lives we are always in danger of death for Jesus sake, in order that his life may be seen in this mortal body of ours.” (2 Cor. 4:10-11).
Hear this, Mehdi Dibaj wrote to his son from an Iranian jail. He said, “What a privilege to live for our Lord and to die for him as well”. Mendi Dibay was raised in a Muslim family, but converted to Christianity in the 1950s. As expected, he was charged for apostasy and jailed by an Iranian court for leaving the Muslim faith. During this period, he was held in solitary confinement for two years and systematically tortured. He ended up serving almost ten years in jail. When he was brought out for trial in 1993, Mehdi said, “I am not only satisfied to be in prison for the honour of His Holy name, but I am ready to give up my life for the sake of Jesus my Lord”. Of course, he was sentenced to be executed, but for the intervention of Hark Hovsepian, the leader of Evangelical Christians in Iran”. This story sounds heart rendering, but Mehdi demonstrated in practical terms the joy of dying for Christ. Beloved, Christ’s death is all very important and we need to realize its benefits to all Christians. In his death he, not only bore our sins, but says, no to sin. After his death, sin had no part to play in his life. Recall that on the third day Jesus rose up with a glorious body, the same bodies that the entire redeemed are expected to wear, because the miracle had been wrought on the cross. No wonder St. Paul says, “ Even so, consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive in God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.” (Rom. 6:10-12).
The believer must see this life as worthless and should not only be hated but detested. When the believer comes to this level, pride (self ego) disappears and love for the things of the spirit begins to take preeminence. Loyalty is no longer to the flesh, but to the spirit. Beloved, to rid oneself of the attractions of the flesh is not easy, but with the help of the Spirit of God, one can be dead to sin. In Romans 6:10, the scripture says, “And so, because he (Jesus) died, sin has no power over him, and now he lives his life in fellowship with God”. A friend came into my office one evening, and we talked and shared about the wonderful God that we are privileged through his Son to be adopted children. He said to me: “Bro. Jude, there is nothing as sweet, rewarding and fulfilling as serving God and dwelling in his presence daily”. This is an eternal truth which Satan the accuser of the brethren would often make us to think and believe otherwise. Dear friend, put away, therefore every malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up in your salvation –
- Father, dying to self means a mental check on any determination not to live for myself but for Christ. Grant me the grace and spiritual strength to do this in Jesus name
- According to St. Francis de Sales, “Self-love is cunning, it pushes and insinuates itself into everything, while making us believing it is not there at all”. Father help me to recognize self love as soon as it manifests in my life
- Dear Lord, I make bold to declare to Satan that you arc my dear Jesus, my unspeakable desire and joy. Give me the grace never to fail in making this declaration daily
- Jesus, I also declare that you are the one I love forever and I beseech you to give me the spiritual strength never to fail in loving you
- Father, forgive me of my sins and cleanse me. Grant me the grace to totally empty myself to you daily
Exercise: Take the prayer of Daily Consecration twice today
Memory Verse: Luke 14:26