Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dying to Self

Dying to Self
Written by Bill Britton
When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult of the oversight, but your heart is happy being counted worthy to suffer for Christ,
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 it all in patient loving silence,
When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any impunctuality, or any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility...and endure it as Jesus endured it,
When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God,
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown,
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,
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!
Are you dead yet??? 
In these last days, the Spirit would bring us to the cross..."that I may know Him....being made conformable to his death."
Are you dead yet?
I know I'm not!!
Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
Matthew 16:24, 25
"He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."
John 12:25
Sounds like a contradiction doesn't it?  But it's only in giving up my rights, giving up my own way and embracing Jesus' way, that I find true freedom.  It's in giving no thought to myself, that I find I are taken care of.
Jim Elliot said it this way:
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
We've become a society of self-sentered, selfish spoiled brats who think we deserve everything anyone has to give us!
We've lost the ability to put another's needs first. 
We've lost the ability to endure through hardship because we don't think we should have to suffer hardship.
And without enduring the hardship, we give up the chance to grow and become better people.
Then Jesus comes along and says, "deny yourself." 

Jesus says, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
Matthew 23:11, 12

Jesus turns everything upside down.  The world says - do all you need to get ahead, make a name for yourself, look for promotion, look for fame.  Seek to be the chief to be served.

Jesus tells us just the opposite - take no thought for yourself.

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
Phillipians 2:4
I am not there yet, but I press in, as Paul said:
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Jesus Christ.  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:12-14
Press in!
Press on!


No comments:

Post a Comment