if we endure, we will also reign with him…
(2 Timothy 2:11-12 ESV)
Since I have been crucified with Christ, Mark Shaeffer is dead, and along with this goes all my selfish ambition, vanity and conceit. If what I do and say for the sake of the gospel is not to be recognized, approved or applauded, then that’s the way it will have to be. I may be misrepresented, slandered or even persecuted, but again that’s OK. Remember, I have already died with Christ.
What overwhelms me this morning is that twenty-nine years ago, the Son of God willingly and lovingly rescued me and brought me into this “crucified relationship.” Faith was given to me so that I was able to say, “I will lose my life in order to find real abundant life in Christ.” The new life I now possess is hidden in Christ and when He, who is my life appears, then I will appear with Him (Colossians 3:3-4).
So, until that glorious day, grace is given to me to persevere through trials and opposition. I am learning that “through many tribulations [I] must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Nevertheless, since my Lord became poor for my sake, I could / would never say that impoverishing myself is beneath me. I will “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” (Philippians 3:8-10).
To the praise of His glorious grace.