Agnes radiates life. Now in her mid-80s, the life of Christ that she demonstrates is as clear as it was the first time I met her 19 years ago. Agnes never draws attention to herself she is focused on the Lord and on investing in other people. Even today she invests in the lives of women in their 20s by encouraging them to know the Lord.
Death and Real Life
Nineteen years ago I asked her what the most important lesson was that she had learned. Her answer was to put the cross into practice daily by dying to self and living for the Lord. Interestingly, this lady who has daily died to her sinful self since learning of its importance about 60 years ago, has experienced the real life that everyone longs for. By living this life, she has inspired countless others to live for the Lord as well.
Unreal Life and Death
Why am I thinking about Agnes? The reason is because of a conversation I recently had with someone who was dejected. Despite receiving a lot of help from her church for years, she refuses to change the way that she thinks and lives. The reason for this is because she cannot be bothered with the effort. She says that she is selfish, knows that it is sinful, but does not want to change. She wants to think of herself and have others around her be responsible for making her feel good. And in the meantime, the months and years of her dejection go by.
Usually what we do not feel like doing is good for us. There are a number of areas of our lives that require discipline. I think of exercise, sleep, a healthy diet and a good use of time. Being disciplined in these areas if for our own good. If we give into selfishness or self-indulgence by only doing what we want or feel like, difficulties will come. The same is true regarding doing good to others, thinking truthful thoughts, and being careful how we speak.
The Life from the Lord
People like Agnes are a demonstration of the life from the Lord. By seeing our sin crucified with Christ and living in him in all areas, we glorify God and experience true life. That is because he knows what is good for us and is changing us to be like him.