Even Unto Death

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7.

I’ve been feasting upon Ephesians lately, and smack dab in the middle of these gospel-drenched verses is one particular phrase that has grabbed my attention: immeasurable riches.  IMMEASURABLE RICHES are in the LORD, by way of His grace.  {Let it soak in: immeasurable.riches.}  This is what I have to look forward to in the everlasting ages to come: immeasurable riches in Christ!!  It’s almost unbelievable. As I ponder this thought – immeasurable riches are found in Christ – other verses are brought to my mind that deliver glorious and heart-penetrating truths:

…the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2b,3.

Christ, the mystery of God Who has made Himself known to mankind, is the possessor and giver of wisdom and knowledge.  ALL wisdom and ALL knowledge are found IN CHRIST.  Everything that I seek after that can satisfy my soul is found in the person of Jesus Christ.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Revelation 12:11.

They loved not their lives even unto death.  The blood of Christ {the Lamb}, poured out for His Beloved, has given them victory over the Great Enemy; and their testimony speaks to the triumph that is theirs in Christ!

But how can it be possible that anyone would disregard their own life, to the point of death?  Is there anything more valuable than a life, than {{my}} life?

This question comes to me as I am in the middle of grappling with the reality of vocational ministry and all of the challenges that lie before my husband and I because of it.  Even now, in this season of preparation, we have been forced to sacrifice.  And it has been painful.  And I’m tired of the sacrifice, of the weariness, of my flesh, of what it will require of me to share my husband with a church congregation in a way that other wives will never have to.  (And I KNOW, I KNOW this isn’t a big deal compared to many challenges that other people face, but this is the challenge before me right now, and it’s so.painful.  And I KNOW I “should” just be thankful – and there are so many reasons to be thankful – but this is our life, and if I’m going to continue down this road, I MUST know and be convinced of why I am living in this way…)  And so, as I read  that “they loved not their lives even unto death”, I probe:

WHAT IS WORTH THAT KIND OF DEVOTION?!

…the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is {{Christ}},  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Christ, are You really worth it?  Are You really enough?  Do You really have all that I need; and even more than I ever thought I wanted?  Are You really the all-satisfying One who makes {{all of this}} worth it and Who gives the victory by Your blood and Who is the Treasure worth dying for, worth forsaking my life for?

Are You worth following, even to death, Jesus?

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

You have immeasurable riches, Christ.  Everlasting riches.  This is what’s in store for me.  Eternal riches, which were attained for me by You, at the cost of Your life.  {Let it soak in: my sin cost the Holy One His life.}  You did not regard Your own life, even unto death, and You did this to please the Father (Phil. 2:6, Matt. 26:39).  You bore my shame, my guilt, my punishment, for the joy set before You (Heb. 12:2).  You died to purchase me as Your own (1 Pet. 3:18, 1 Cor. 6:19,20).  You gave up Your life for me, Jesus, and when I consider You, I find the answer to my question:

What is worth dying for? 

Even Unto DeathYou are, Jesus.  YOU.ARE.JESUS.  You are worth not loving my life, {{even}} to the point of death, because You are the all-satisfying One, because in You and with You are immeasurable riches and pleasures forevermore.  Because I live not for myself but for You, who gave Yourself up for me, to redeem me from the curse and to make me a child of God! {And Your yoke is easy, and Your burden light.}  Because there are others worth loving who might also be freed by the Good News: You paid the price for sinners, and You are worth EVERYTHING. {And nothing can separate Your children from You, not.even.death.}

So, I’m banking my everything on You, Lord Jesus.  I’m risking it all, and I’m clinging to the promise that You secured my salvation, and You possess my complete satisfaction, and You have all the answers and You {{are}} The Answer.  I’m clinging to the truth that there is no one and no thing worth living or dying for…but YOU {And I say along with Peter, “To whom, Lord, shall I go?  You have the words of eternal life.”}.  I’m banking on Your faithfulness to see me through to the end {and You will complete the good work You started in me.  You, LORD, are faithful!}. And I will not love my life, even in the face of death, to please You.  For the joy set before me.  For the sake of others {that they may see that You alone are God, and the Savior, and the Hope of mankind}.  You, Jesus, are my only Hope, and You are the Treasure of {my soul}.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11.
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One thought on “Even Unto Death

  1. I join you in banking everything on the gospel of Christ too! It’s the only choice that makes sense, which doesn’t make it easy, but definitely worth it. Christ our treasure reigns!

    p.s. I love to read Ephesians when we’re feeling tight financially because we have IMMEASURABLE RICHES, and then I feel silly for worrying when our God will provide.

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