“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:11-14, NIV)
December 3rd. One year ago today my wife and I woke up, said a little prayer, and checked into Florida Hospital here in Orlando to have my prostate removed. Along with my prostate all of the cancer that had been eating away at it was also removed. Today marks one year of living without that nasty disease living inside me. Praise the Lord!
December 3rd, 2003. Ten years ago today marks another milestone in my life. Although I grew up in a Christian household (at least that’s what we called ourselves), I never really made a connection between living and dying for the Lord. Just like the slow-growing cancer in my prostate, my life was slowly being eaten away by the cancer called “worldly living.” Although I told myself (and others) that I was a Christian, I wasn’t living for Christ. I was living for myself. I was working sixty hours a week, meeting clients in “not-so-Christianly” establishments, taking the Lord’s name in vain on a regular basis, and taking advantage of business clients in order to increase my bank account. In effect, I was feeding the cancer that was living inside my soul – a cancer that was turning me away from the Lord. I was giving Satan a reason to hang around and to use me for his purposes. I never realized how deadly that cancer had become.
But, on December 3rd, 2003, something finally “clicked” inside my brain (and in my heart). I can’t pinpoint exactly what happened, but it was like turning on a switch that allowed me to see what I was doing to myself and to those around me. I realized that just because I grew up in a “Christian” household that doesn’t mean I was a Christian or that I even had Christian values. It simply meant that I had heard about Jesus. Obviously I had no idea how to follow Him and I had absolutely no idea how to die for Him. Thank God, I had heard about Him! I began to look for Him in my everyday life. I looked at the way I was treating others and where my priorities had taken me. I realized that with God’s help, I could make changes to myself. I could become aware of the things that were bringing me down. I realized that I could reverse the kind of choices I was making. I could choose to give up living for myself and start living for Christ. I could make a choice to “die” to my old way of life. And that’s exactly what I have been trying to do for the past ten years.
The cancer has been removed. I can finally live again – free from those things that once brought me down. Just as I struggle with my prostate cancer recovery, I will continue to struggle in my battle with Satan. But in both areas of my life I have Someone who loves me and who will continue to strengthen me.
December 3, 2013, and December 3, 2003 – a coincidence? I don’t think so!
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”