Imagine if your family believed you had died! And had taken care of your affairs, sold your home and your car, distributed your possessions to the poor, Cancelled all your bank accounts and insurances, only to find that you were alive, you stand there with nothing,, there is nothing in your bank accounts you have no home and no transport, all your creditors think you are dead, there is no line of credit. You would have to start all over again.
This is what it is like to be in Christ! You are a new creation, and dead men don’t have rights. You may think about things a little differently.
“I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
This morning I want to speak about “From death unto life” not a physical death but:
1) Death of a dream
2) Death of a vision
3) Death of a desire you have had.
JOHN 12:24 24 The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone—a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives
The illustration of a caterpillar turning into a Butterfly is a good one. The caterpillar has for most of its life been totally self obsessed. Living just to eat, day and night eating. Then something happens, the caterpillar begins to focus on change. Forgets about itself and starts to change in a different environment. It dies to its old life and becomes something totally different.
An example of a changed life that changed is the story of Leah found in Genesis 29
Leah was unloved by here husband Jacob, she was not as attractive as her sister Rachael, who Jacob loved and had planned to marry, but Leah’s father tricked Jacob and Jacob had resented Leah because of this
The Lord saw her pain and granted her a son.
Leah’s reaction was “Surely now my husband will love me” GEN 29:32
Leah’s desires were for her husband and she assumed the Lord favoured her with a son so Jacob would love her.
Two more times she gave birth to Son’s. She said “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him 3 sons, yet Jacob still did not desire her.
GEN 29 31 But because Leah was unloved, the LORD let her have a child, while Rachel was childless. 32 So Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben,* for she said, “The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” 33 She soon became pregnant again and had another son. She named him Simeon,* for she said, “The LORD heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” 34 Again she became pregnant and had a son. She named him Levi,* for she said, “Surely now my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!” 35 Once again she became pregnant and had a son. She named him Judah,* for she said, “Now I will praise the LORD!” And then she stopped having children.
This is the lesson.
1) We cannot make another person love us
2) The pressure we place on others through striving only causes more rejection.
She was incomplete without her husbands love but her hopes were not just deferred, but completely dashed on the rocks of life. After 10-15 years of trying Leah’s hope of being loved by her husband died.
YET: She became pregnant again and during this pregnancy, out of her devastation “She began to seek the Lord for herself” She started to fall in love with God.
Out of this pregnancy Judah was born, she said “This time I will praise the Lord”
What happened to Leah?
She was the mother of Levi.. The priestly line
She was the mother of Judah the kingly line.
After she died to her own desires and allowed the vision of being her husbands favourite to die. The Lord raised her up to become the mother of the Law.. Moses via Levi and the Mother of the messiah Jesus via Davis via Judah. What seemed like failure turned into an amazing blessing.
In the end she was very honoured by Jacob
29 Then Jacob told them, “Soon I will die. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in Ephron’s field. 30 This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a permanent burial place. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah.
The same can happen for you. remember Phil 1:6 "He who has begun a good work in you is well able to compleate it"