Name Tags: You Are... (Part 29)
When you became a Christian, you were set free from the sinful things of the world. This was not done by human hands. You were set free from the sins of your old self by what was done in Christ's body. When you were baptized, you were buried as Christ was buried. When you were raised up in baptism, you were raised as Christ was raised. You were raised to a new life by putting your trust in God.
Knowing I was mostly dead before Christ is a no-brainer. I was barely there. Knowing I was raised to a brand new life is a no-brainer, too. Clearly, I was. The part of this process that's hard for me is Old Carey remaining in the ground.
It can be like Night of the Living Dead, where hands and arms reach up from shallow graves. Or worse, when a corpse sits up in the dirt. Old Carey pops out with some mean words, but she's not the one that Jesus raised.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You're new creations in a new age, un-rulish reps of The Golden Rule,* surprising Christians in Hollywood. You're rising to perform crucial roles. But maybe you don't feel good enough.
So recall; many Bible heroes (like Moses, David, Peter and Paul), were tempted by prior tendencies, old thoughts or habits not fully dead.
'For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me... O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?' (Romans 7:19-20, 24, NKJV).
Paul's next Line? 'I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!' (v.25).
Therefore, I conclude fellow brethren: dying to self is a progression, and occasionally, it requires the hitting of your bothersome corpse with a shovel or a Bible Verse. But great men before you lived through it, so don't be surprised by your struggles.
Nurture the new you. Stomp down the old. And continue to rise from the dead.
To Be Continued...
* 'Do to others as you would like them to do to you' (Luke 6:31, NLT).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.