I’ve heard people talking about dying to self, and crucifying the flesh and all kinds of death-oriented concepts. I dont agree with those people.
Changed into His likeness
Instead, I know that as we behold Him, we are changed into His likeness… He grows within us, we make different choices, we choose to lay down our own agenda and choose difficult choices in which we live our lives loving one another.
For example: you can buy a house and get a tv and go to church and live a wonderful life of prayer and worship. Sounds perfect doesn’t it? But it’s not what Jesus Christ called us to do. He said that AS the Father sent Him, SO He sends us.
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” – Luke 9:58
We are to give up our lives in service for one another. We are to go where those who love their lives will not go. We are to follow the Holy Spirit and it’s His intention to take us to places where we have to depend on Him.
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. – John 12:25
Im not saying you should hate yourself, not at all! But dont love your life to the extent that you dont end up going into all the world and make disciples of the nations!
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit – Matt 28:19
And dont buy into the teaching that it’s someone else’s calling. It’s your calling too. Have you ever wondered what church is? Why didn’t Jesus Christ rent an amphitheater?
Surely He could have, and word would have gotten around that He was there, doing 5 services a day, 7 days a week.
Need to find the Messiah? Go to Caesarea! Easy!
- And can you imagine the cell/home groups and tithes He could have collected.
- Tithes AND offerings!! And love offerings too!
- He could have built His own amphitheater! Several of them, in all the major cities!
- He could have had a “school of the supernatural”… imagine the waiting list to get into THAT school!!
But He didn’t, did He? Why not? Why didn’t He?
Instead… Jesus Christ walked among us, He slept in our houses, He seeked out the lost and lonely in far away deserted places like the time He took a boat across the Lake to find the man called Legion. He went there to find that man.
Why is it that our churches looking NOTHING like the original church as Jesus Christ showed us to be. Nothing like what Paul showed us to do.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” – John 20:21
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. – 1 John 2:6
There is little or no room for consumerism and building a life of leisure for yourself and your family and your children. In fact the bible says knowingly or unknowingly we train children up in the way they should go and then they will go in that way.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. – Prov 22:6
Like it or not, our tv and news readers and movies are training our children. And we wonder why the world is the way it is?
Church is not a place to placate your religious guilt once a week.
In the new covenant it is a lie that your tithe will open the window of prosperity. That was the old covenant and under the law.
The people who believe that view often also believe that God is a God of excellence and they invest heavily into their own excellence. The world rewards excellence. You might be getting your financial reward because the world rewards excellence.
But to get prosperity from God in the new covenant, it comes through Jesus Christ. He died on the cross in poverty so that you dont need to suffer poverty. He died on the cross forsaken by God so that you are re-united to God. EVERYTHING you get as a new covenant Christian comes through Jesus Christ.
This world is a mess and it’s OUR FAULT…
- BECAUSE we do not go,
- BECAUSE we do not pray fervently enough,
- BECAUSE we are not intense and intentional and uncompromising about our faith,
- BECAUSE we do not believe what the bible says Jesus Christ did on the cross.
Why dont we believe what the bible says that Jesus Christ did for us on the cross? It’s because the churches fail to teach us these truths. Wait. Why is THAT? Because we appoint “youth pastors” to leadership, in defiance of the guidelines that the bible gives for who should be appointed into leadership… people who are FILLED with the Holy Spirit and people who have life experience (are married, respected etc.)
We are doing it wrong. In the last two posts I mentioned these scriptures and now I will mention them again…
But even these reel from wine and stagger from strong drink: the priest and the prophet reel from strong drink; they are confused from wine, they stagger and are gone astray through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble when pronouncing judgment. For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, so that there is no place that is clean. – Is 28:7-8
Mark, good study! I do see however in scripture some “death oriented” scripture that must be considered or it would not have been put in there…but I do understand your premise. “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me.”
We are to love others as we love ourselves….so obviously we are not to get rid of self. Therefore, when I am dying to self then I am actually dying to my old nature that would want me to only think of self.
Blessings!! Hope you come on over and visit me sometime!
>> at http://www.aroundeverycornerat.blogspot.com
(Oh, I met your neighbor and friend Jenny B…..great conversation)
Thanks for popping in.
You are so right! We are to love ourselves 🙂
That the reference to crucifying the flesh and dying to self is a reference to our crucifixion with Jesus Christ on the cross. Its not something to literally do… we dont need to actually whip ourselves or do something horrible to our flesh. We need to choose to interpret these scriptures as “by faith”.
My writing on this page is to say that when we get our faith right, the dying to self, the loss of focus on ourselves at the expense of considering God’s will and considering the needs of other people… that happens automatically and His Spirit grows within us and His nature grows within us.
You have a lovely and colourful blog 🙂
God bless you!
Mark, Yes!! Amen….it all comes down to servanthood and wanting to give our life totally…loving with all or heart, soul and strength….
I hope however that I have more than just a colorful blog. I also want so badly for people to consider all of scripture and not just the parts that seem easy to do…as all of scripture has a purpose…as I know you know. Please come over and comment if you will…I’d love your participation and I will also reciprocate 🙂