Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – Matt. 16:24 KJV
Is my Christianity at war with Jesus? Have I replaced the sound doctrine of being Christ-Centered, with the new gospel of a Self-Centered theology? Have I turned Christ into a vending machine and replaced scripture with a man-centered psychology where self-esteem is more important than the knowledge of the Holy? Do I abuse scripture to fill my personal desires, rather than listen to the desire God has for my life?
I have asked to be made in His image, but have I refused to give up my self-love, self-dignity, self-respect and self-esteem? Have I believed that Christ is my servant, that must grant my every wish? Do I believe I am not a Christian unless I am prosperous, unless Jesus gives me a better golf swing, and helps me lose that extra 50 pounds, and make my sales quota skyrocket?
Does my easy-believeism teach me that salvation is proved when all my selfish intentions come to fruition?
Has my Christianity become a get what you want from God, instead of a give all you can for Christ?
Do I abandon the requirements for an eternal life that honors Christ, for a life where Jesus is forced to honor me?
The real gospel of self-sacrifice and Christ-Likeness is no longer in vogue. I have to get to the place where I understand that to be remade in the image of Christ, that to follow Jesus, is to commit myself to the death of my self. I do not win Christ likeness unless I lose my self. I live in eternity when I die to my own whims and allow the character of Christ to replace my fallen character.
Have I come to the point where I am ready to give up everything I hold dear just to follow Him? I have no desire, at the end, to put on a form of Godliness only to hear Christ tell me, “Get away from me, I never knew you.”
I make this my prayer:
“Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess everything, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive. Let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley, Thy life in my death.” – Anonymous
To live is to die, but to die to self, and follow Christ, is to live.
I love you,