Dying to Self and Living Out the Life of Christ


“For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” – 2 Corinthians 4:11-12

One of the most important lesson I learnt in my journey as a missionary is that God is more interested in His work in me than my work for Him.  I, like many missionaries, was willing to make the necessary sacrifice because I was motivated to make my life count and do something significant for God. This performance-oriented motivation was the first thing that had to die in order that the life of Jesus may be manifested to the people around me.

After spending three to four months in language studies, I thought I had enough of the local language to understand the discussions in the church cell group meetings. I began to share my thoughts and bible knowledge to impress; not realising that my grasp pf the language was only the equivalent of Primary 3 level vocabularies, with an embarrassing foreign accent. After sharing, I felt like an idiot and perceived that others probably also saw me as a foreigner with simple childish thoughts.  At that time, I began to ask: “if I could not do anything for God, or if I should suffer physical impairment and could not speak a word; would I still be of value to Him?” Where did my sense of value and security lie?  

What died that day was the sense that my value was dependent on how well I could perform. I realised that my value as a missionary is not based on my knowledge or skills, but on Christ who lives in me.  That freed me to be secure solely in the love of Jesus my Lord.  That freed me to be patient when things do not go my way. That freed me to be merciful and gracious to the under-achievers.

Making disciples of all nations is much more than imparting the Word brilliantly. What do people see in me when we encounter conflict?  Would they see my pride as I assert that I am right or am smarter? Would they hear my sharp words or the words of Jesus? Would they encounter the forgiveness of Jesus or my own idealised expectations?  Would they experience a rested faith or my tiresome striving? Would they see a humble obedient Christian or a perfectionistic religious teacher?

The life of Christ would not be manifested without the death of the flesh. Our life of obedience is to allow God to work in us. His work in us involves our dying in Christ.    Let us die. Let Christ live. Let others see not I, but Christ who lives in me. 

To God be the Glory!      


CANON YEE CHING WAH is an Anglican priest and Director of Mission, Diocese of Singapore. He served on the Council of SCGM from 2012-2014.


40 FRiends of SCGM have been invited to take part in our 40-Day Devotional Project to help raise funds for SCGM’s 40th Anniversary. Each day starting 20 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, SCGM will publish one devotion written by our 40 FRiends in our FundRaising effort and celebration of God’s goodness and provision over the last 40 years!

Through their devotional reflections, we pray that our FRiends of SCGM40 will bless and encourage many to reflect upon God’s Presence, Protection, Provision, Purification and Power in Missions.




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