Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Dying to Self

Scripture: Romans 6 v 16:
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness."

Colossians 3 v 3: "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

Colossians 1 v 13: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son."

We do not really know who or what manner of being we are! On Earth we have a name, address, job, family, entertainment and all that seems to make life good. We meet Jesus and receive the gift of salvation without knowing exactly what that gift contains.

Galatians 2 v 20 says "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."

We have made a song of it: 'Its no longer I that liveth but Christ who liveth in me.' This is the absolute truth. When you were baptised under water an exchange was made and you went to Heaven where you are seated at the right hand of the Father in Jesus. Part of His body.

The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ entered you to conquer your flesh and soul to bring them into line with His life within your body. This is called dying to self. Putting aside what you want, to be what Jesus wants anytime of the day or night.

In this material world, even the most humanitarian people are selfish at heart. They look after Number One first before they give benefits to others. Jesus isn't like that. He gave everything He had, left his glorious kingdom, and was born in a stable to give you His life.

We have learned to take everything for granted. We are pampered, spoiled, self-loving people full of self-righteousness. I'm ok Jack, tough on your hard life. There is no sacrifice of self in this opulent lifestyle.

There are those who yield to Jesus and allow Him to change them into true Christians. They die to self daily and pray that Jesus uses them as He sees fit. They don't argue against that which seems unpleasant, they do it to His glory. They may never know why they have to do some things but yield to His will so that His plan can proceed.

JOY can be read as Jesus first, Yourself last, others in between. The joy of the Lord is our strength. When we die to the demands of self and put the needs of others before our own, we experience the strength that comes from bringing joy to Jesus. This is the type of Christian that makes up the kingdom of God on Earth.

Dying to self is a process, a discipline and an act of worship to our Father. Selfishness is a sin, all for me none for you, is yielding to the enemy and his evil ways. In Corinthians God says He wants to see equality where those who labour for Christ can enjoy some of the benefits of those who have them in abundance.

We do need to be watchful over being taken for a ride by those who prey on Christians for all they can get, but give nothing in return. No love, appreciation or spiritual blessing in response to kindness and care. But the Lord knows who are His and wants to give everyone a chance to be translated out of darkness into the kingdom of light.

When I asked God what He expected of me as one who wanted to fully yield to Him and die to self, He told me 3 things: Love till it hurts; pray till it hurts; give till it hurts.

In other words even if people hurt you keep on loving them; even if prayers don't seem to be answered for years, keep the faith and don't quit; give till you really feel it bite. Always follow Jesus' instructions in every instance. 

Dying to self means all selfisms must go. Self-righteousness must die so the righteousness of Jesus is seen in you. Self-belief must become faith in God. Make a list of your own selfisms and see where you need to do some dying. Kill off that old nature and let Jesus shine through you more and more each day.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we were dead in sin, but You gave us life, and seated us in Christ on Your right hand. Help us to die to what our flesh dictates, and live to fulfil Your will and perfect plan for each one of us. In Jesus' name. Amen.