I Gave Up …

by TerryLema

I take prednisone, not because I want to, but because it is one of the only meds that will control the symptoms of the two auto-immune diseases that want to dominate my body. Prednisone has its own symptoms, however, loss of bone density (which I have avoided so far), thinning hair (got that), moon face (on its way), and the delightful prednisone insomnia.

I usually fall asleep right away but wake throughout the night. Sometimes I just take a sip of water, roll over, and can go back to sleep. That is not always the case, and on those nights when sleep eludes, I will pray, read, move to the couch, surf the web, or outline a devotion or message. That was a recent night.  I thought about those beautiful green pastures and still waters promised by our Good Shepherd.

I have often heard about all the things people think we must give up when we come to Christ. In the middle of the night God reminded me of that one big sacrifice we must make … the one I wrote about yesterday.  When we enter the sheepfold through the Good Shepherd, we give up death.

The Good Shepherd makes us leave death at the door and He gives life upon entry into the sheepfold. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 6:23 HCSB]

We give up death and everything associated with it. Condemnation is sacrificed. Judgment is turned over. Shame and guilt are laid down. We give up darkness, fear, anxiety, insecurity, loneliness, alienation from God. Yes, we certainly do give up a lot.

And because He now fills us with His Spirit of Life, we have that lush promise that “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead …  will also bring [our] mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in [us].” [Romans 8:11 HCSB]

I am rolling around in the opulent green pastures of life today. My body may go one day to the ground, but I have life, life, LIFE in Christ Jesus. I left death on the other side of the door to the sheepfold.  Amen!

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