Christianity 201

April 30, 2015

Dying to Self

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, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:20

I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…
Phil. 3:10

He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
Luke 9:23-24

… anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Mark 10:38

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Galatians 6:14

Today’s scripture verses were just a few that came to mind after reading the following, which I found in an old church bulletin.

DYING TO SELF

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.

THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence.

THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any impunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to- face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured.

THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any solitude, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.

THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown.

THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.

THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.

THAT IS DYING TO SELF

 

May 11, 2011

Read the Fine Print

For many Christians the concept of denying themselves was not part of the deal.  They grew up with the message that such a radical decision really isn’t necessary.  So they signed up to follow Jesus, but if denying themselves was part of the explanation, it was definitely the fine print.  That’s especially true of Ameican Christians.  In part, this due to the collision of Christianity with American capitalism.  It has created a culture of consumers in our churches.  Instead of approaching their faith with a spirit of denial that says, “What can do for Jesus?” they have a consumer mentality that says, “What can Jesus do for me?”

…One of the reasons it’s so hard for us to deny ourselves is because the whole idea seems to go against our greatest desire in life. Most everyone would say that what they want more than anything else is to be happy.  We’re convinced that the path to happiness means saying yes to ourselves. Indulgence is the path to happiness, so to deny ourselves seems to go in the opposite direction of what will make us happy. The right to pursue happiness seems to be in direct conflict with the call to deny.

…That’s what the story of the Rich Young Ruler is really all about.  It’s not just about giving up money and the things that money can buy; it’s about giving up, period.  That’s what it means to deny yourself and follow Christ.

~Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan, pp 148, 150, 155

(publishing May 31st)