Tuesday, 1 September 2020

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!   Jesus said those words to His disciples when they wanted to rain fire and brimstone on a town that rejected Him and His message, miracles and mission.

We were born in sin.  We were born sinful.  We have a past before we became human embryos.  We are spirit beings.  Our spirits are dead in sin.  Lifeless.  In Eden God started a new thing, dead spirit being, now has a soul and a body of flesh.  Stage one - breathe into this flesh and turn it into a living soul.  Stage two - let's see what happens next.

Stage three -  enter Satan as a serpent who convinces Eve to disobey God and pass this on to Adam, who knowingly plunges the whole world into darkness and sin explodes.  The most selfish act one man ever did.  Stage four - cast out of God's Presence to fend for self.  Stage five - death, illness, base nature of mankind.  Followed by the Flood.

Take 2.  Stage one - the second Man, Jesus Christ, who is also the Last Adam.  First Man was Adam so every human between him and Jesus was in a fallen status.  By His most unselfish sacrifice Jesus brought mankind back to full stature, forgiven of sin, reconciled to the Father.  With a free will to choose whether to accept God's amnesty or reject it to continue living in sin and never seeing Heaven.

Stage two - 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 we are baptised under water an exchange is made and our now alive spirit goes to Heaven where we are seated at the right hand of the Father in Jesus. Part of His body.  

The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ entered us to conquer our flesh and soul to bring them into line with His life within our body. This is called dying to self. Putting aside what we 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 by faith so that His plan can proceed.

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.

The Lord knows who are His and wants to give everyone a chance to be translated out of darkness into the kingdom of light.  The character of those who are truly yielded is - 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. If there are other selfisms in our lives we should see where we need to do some dying.  We must kill off that old nature and let Jesus shine through us 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.