December 28, 2021: Crucified With Christ
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV).
This text comes alive as I reflect on my past and present Christian experience. Paul experienced many challenges in sharing the gospel (2 Cor. 11:24–30). Although not suffering physically like Paul, I gave up my military career to serve Christ. My plan was to retire after two decades and go on to another career and then retire from within the public sector of the same field of service. I could have had two pensions and been financially set for life. At the time, I thought I was really living Galatians 2:20. That was nearly 29 years ago.
But God had other plans. I got married and had four wonderful children, followed by six grandchildren. I have been involved in a pastoral role for 18 years, five as a part-time pastor/construction worker, and the last 13 full time in West Virginia.
I realize there was, and is, more crucifying that needs to be done in my life. And I am thankful that I can choose to place myself in Jesus’ hands each day and be crucified with Him. The pain of this life, although present at times, is so much easier to deal with than His pain on Calvary for me.
I also realize that whatever I go through in my flesh is because Jesus is allowing me to experience challenges for my best good. He wants me to someday be like Him (1 John 3:2).
God, thank You for leading my life. May I be crucified daily with Christ. Amen.
James Volpe is the pastor of the Beckley and Bluefield churches in West Virginia.