Daily Devotion, 05/14/2018, “Already Dead”
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” Philippians 1:20-24 NLT
“The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead.” That was the explanation Lieutenant Ronald Speirs gave for his heroic exploits as an Airborne Infantry officer with the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of 101st Airborne Division as they fought from Normandy to Berlin in World War II. Speirs earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts as he fought and led with a fierce tenacity and uncommon valor that earned him the respect of all who served with him. If you assume that you’re already dead, the fear of losing your life won’t get in the way of you doing what your need to do to accomplish your mission.
It was like that Paul. If they killed him, he would go to be with Jesus and he was good with that. If they let him live, he would continue to serve Jesus and he was good with that. How can you intimidate and effectively threaten someone like that? In Matthew 10:39 Jesus said, “whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” The key to living fully for God is dying fully to self. Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.”
As you go through this week, ask God to show you any part of your life that is not fully submitted to Him. Is there any part of you that needs to die so that others can see His life in you? Is there any part of you that needs to die so that He can accomplish His mission through you? You are loved!
PS Check out the book "Band of Brothers" by Stephen E. Ambrose or the documentary mini-series done by HBO with the same name to experience more of Lt.Spiers and the 506th.