Dying to Live

Engagement Pictures

I dreamed up the name Life Lived Beautifully during my quiet time with the Lord last spring. Since then, the Lord has continually re-defined what that actually means. At first glance your thoughts might be: success, fame, influence, outer appearance, things, etc.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 7.46.07 PMHonestly, I might've had those thoughts too when I came up with the name. I originally dreamed up a picture perfect life that always includes my morning coffee, birds singing outside of the window, joyous adventures with my Love and everything to come easy in life. Though these things are beautiful and tiny glimpses of the glory of God, so is suffering and hardship. I'm reminded of how our Savior suffered greatly so that we might even get these glimpses of abundant life. If He suffered so greatly, why should we be exempt? I've realized how easy it is to study the verses in Scripture that make me feel warm and cozy. (Matt Chandler calls these "coffee cup verses.") But there's so much more.

Jesus, my Savior, died for me. He died so that I might live. He died because I deserved death, but His unfailing love caused Him to stand in my place. Through His death, I live. 

Jesus tells us in Mark 8:34 "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it." (emphasis mine) Did you see that? In order to live, we must die. In order to know Jesus, we must deny ourself. This is not the message the world tells us. The world says that beautiful living is found in things, in making a name for yourself, in being successful by a certain age or even wearing a certain size. Jesus reminds us over and over again that these things will pass away but His Kingdom endures forever.

God re-defined what life lived beautifully means for me. To live life beautifully is to die to live. It to forget about myself and spend every moment I am given to make much of Jesus. It is to hold all the things in my life with a loose grip, knowing that it will all pass away except the things that are done for the Lord. I love this quote:

"Only one life t'will soon be past, Only what's done for the Savior will last."

Living life beautifully is all about dying. Dying to myself. Dying to my dreams. Dying to my longings. And living to the things that last forever.

Because when I die to me, I gain Him. And in exchange for my life I get eternal life that is abundant and satisfied. The dreams God has for us may look different than we think. Believers are literally laying their lives down all over the world so that the name of Jesus may be made known. That is a life lived beautifully.

Are you dying to live?

“There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.”  ~Elisabeth Elliot

~Gretchen