Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Why must we lose our self-life?

Matthew 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.”

Why must we lose our self-life?

Does not God love me? so why does God want me to change?

Sure, I can give up my sin….the bad things, but why “me”? Would true love to Christ really ask such a question?

The “me” we give up….is not our true personality…..that is saved and brought into complete subjection to Christ, by His Spirit.

The “me” we give up…..is our way of doing things, our attitudes picked up from the world, our narrowness of self…..which always looks for “what will this do for me”.

When I first heard of denying myself, and losing my self-life…..frankly I thought that it would be easy.

After all, I am saved….I want the Lord’s Will…

…..that is all there is to it, right?

….but did I really want His Will? Do I really want to have His life, instead of mine?

Yes, actually I did….

…..and through this process, I learned that.

It is one of the wonderful things that comes from it.

So many,….like I did…..

…..think they have surrendered to the Lord’s Will for their lives, yet constantly reject the Way, that Will is to be brought to pass.

Surely, the Lord would not care if I do this…..this way…after all, it gets His Will done….

….when the reality of it all is, His Will is certainly HIs Way.

How many problems could we avoid, if we would be more attentive to the Lord’s way of doing things.

The whole objective in the Lord’s call to deny ourselves and pick up our cross…..the reality of it….is

……that we might lose our life in ourself….

And even that is not the end….although it is an amazing freedom from the narrowness of self….

….but the end is…..that we might find our life in Christ, which is liberty of the Spirit in all our days.

This losing our self-life is a step by step process of giving over to Christ…..my habits, my ways, and my opinions….and taking on His character….His ways….His thoughts…

…His gentleness,….no one was more gentle than Christ.

I am not talking about “wishy-washy, it is ok” stuff.

I am talking about bending down….and reaching out to those who suffered…and drawing them out to a belief in Him.

(The leper, the man at the pool of Bethesda..John 5:6-8, the Samaritan woman, the demon possessed living in tombs..Mark 5:2-15)

…His boldness in the face of evil.

Twice, driving out the money sellers in the Temple.

Accusing those that did not want Him to heal on the Sabbath of hypocrisy because they would pull one of their sheep out of a pit on this day.

Standing face to face with the mob and Judas, who came to arrest Him,….unlawfully.

…His truth.

He never excused sin…..He forgave it.

…His prayer life.

Many nights alone, all night with His Heavenly Father in prayer.

Praying for Peter when the devil would “sift him as wheat”

…His ministry of warning all that the kingdom of God is come.

Christ came to die…..but He was not silent…..nor did He do nothing, but wait His time.

He “fulfilled all righteousness”….in a world of sin, hatred, and illness.

We, too, need to fulfill all the righteousness we are called to.

And the only way to really finish our work….is to become conformed to Christ, and His character.

To lose our life….we need to come to the place that we see:

It is not Christ for me……unless Christ is formed in me.

That it is not our life we are living…..but an extension of His life, in my circumstances….to His honor.

This can only be by love. The willed tendency of our heart to yield, to give, to be completely His.

To love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, will….this is to lose our lives in our selves…..so we can find His life rising in us.

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