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You’ve probably all read the scriptures that say be imitators of Christ as dearly loved children, love one another as Christ loves you, be good to all especially those in the household of faith, love your neighbor as your self, no greater love has a person than to lay down their life for their friend, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, forgive one another as Christ forgives you, don’t just look out for your own interests-look out for the interests of others, encourage and pray for one another daily….
The Bible is filled with all this information on how we are to live and to love. Yet I read an interesting article a few weeks ago that states American Christians in high percentages don’t look or behave like Jesus (this is relative and I thought interesting). There’s church attendance, yet Christians in China, India, other parts of the world are actually risking their lives to do what Jesus said…Love others, share the Gospel, do what you see Me doing.
This isn’t a condemning devotion. It’s a reflection. What’s different?
I asked God. Two much information to put in an email but here’s the summary.
The call to follow Jesus is a call to die. Yes, I said it. Die. Death to slavery to sin. Death to selfishness. Death to living life independent of God. Death to seeking first our agenda. Death to elevating anything or anyone above God. In covenant something dies so something new can be formed. That’s the difference between a contract and covenant. God didn’t come to improve the old man. Jesus came to kill him so we are reborn. In covenant, I becomes we. Jesus took the first step and said, “I will die first. I will model for you true love. I am laying down My life first and then I am giving you My Spirit so you are empowered to do the same.”
To be martyred is to die once for God. Yes it’s painful and final. To live a life of dying to self is far more difficult.
When God says…
Go love this person who continually rejects you.
Go bless this person who despitefully uses you.
Remain silent while they gossip about you.
Keep serving while they ignore or dishonor you.
Speak well of them though they speak ill of you.
Seek to serve instead of be served.
Take the lowest place.
Associate with people who have far less and are outcasts of society.
Forgive, forgive again…and again…
Do your best even if everyone else is not…
Seek My ways, My will, even if it causes others to mock you or misunderstand.
Give to others expecting nothing from them.
Choose to love those who hate you, rely on My Spirit.
Seek holiness as I have cleansed you and made you righteous in My sight.
Put Me first in all things…
You see those who love their lives more than Christ will never truly live! And it’s burdensome to try to follow Christ and live to please ourselves. His yoke is easy and His burden light. It’s not always easy, yet He’s worth it. He’s the greatest reward, knowing God and being one with Him in covenant.
So I ask myself, am I dying daily to My agenda to pursue His? For it is Christ in me the hope of glory. If I am on the throne, He is on the cross. If He is on the throne, I am on the cross. The fruit that emerges from full surrender blesses others and brings Him tremendous glory. Not My will. His will be done, for God alone is perfect and good.
Are you dying? It’s impossible without the Holy Spirit. Yet with God, with His Spirit all things are possible. He only asks us to do what He will empower us to do. It starts with being with God. Intimacy, not striving produces Christlikeness (John 15:5).
You are SO very deeply loved!
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