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A Thousand Ways to Die

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Galatians 5:24

Let's face it: if Christ doesn’t come back before it happens, we are all going to die some day. Have you ever thought about how you want to die? Maybe you are like me, and you have thought about ways you definitely DON’T want to die. I certainly couldn’t commit suicide; that would just be too hard to do. I have often thought that drowning would be a horrific way to go, but perhaps being burnt up in a fire would be worse. Someone once joked, “When I die, I want to go peacefully and in my sleep, like my grandfather did – not screaming like the passengers in his car.” There are more than a thousand ways to die, but the number one worst way to die has to be through crucifixion. It would be a slow, painful death, hanging upon a cross, just waiting to take your last breath. Add to that the pain of the nails through your hands and feet, and I don’t think anyone in his right mind would choose crucifixion as his way of extinguishing life.

The flesh hates crucifixion, as well. Romans 8:8 says, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Your flesh is that part of you that wars against the things of God, the part of you that pushes you away from God. When we are living in the flesh, then God is obviously not pleased. The only way for us to please God, then, is if we crucify the flesh. Don’t you want to make God happy with your life? Don’t you want God to be pleased by what you do in your life? God is happy when the flesh is not. The way to make that happen is to crucify the flesh. That means that when you are tempted to listen to the wrong kind of music, watch something online or on television that you should not, lie, cheat, or steal, then you will tell the flesh no. To do any of those things is allowing the flesh to live and thrive; to deliberately choose not to do them is to crucify the flesh. When we say no to things that are wrong, then God is pleased.

The Romans, who developed the method of crucifixion, reserved this form of death for those they deemed the worst criminals. It was a shameful, disgraceful way to die. They did not realize what they were doing, but that is why they crucified Jesus. Though I would not wish crucifixion upon my worst enemy, I hate my flesh and would have no problem crucifying it. There would be nothing better than watching it die a slow, painful death. I want to belong to Christ alone, and that requires that my flesh be dead. If there were more crucifixions of the flesh, there would be more Christians living for and pleasing God. Have you crucified your flesh?

Read also: Galatians 5:16-26

Quote of the day: "I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change; I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

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