The Self and The Center of Everything

Americans are quick to think that they are the standard of the world.  Their individuality and rights are the greatest gifts to all the world.  But what if God required of all those who followed him to give up their ‘rights’ and everything in this world; for his glory.  Humans are not the center of everything. The individual is either a self righteous idol trying to be its own god, or enslaved to another humanistic idol, or a self-denying, self-sacrificial, supremely valuable instrument of God’s Glory.  Are you the center of all that you do or is God? How would you know?

SELF DENIAL

We must “take up our cross” which is an instrument of death and torture and “deny your self” in order to follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35).  To deny yourself means to deny you receiving the benefits, glory, honor, and fame. If you cannot turn away benefits, glory, honor, and fame for Jesus Christ, you cannot be his disciple (Luke 14:27).  John The Baptist said it best: “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30).  

Isaiah 42:8 makes it clear that God does not give anyone his glory.  In the end, everyone will glorify God even if they have tried to take it for themselves, even in the slightest (Isa. 43:6–7).  The reformation principle, God’s Glory Alone addresses this.  In order to give God all the glory that is due to him; we must deny ourselves.  

Also read The Satisfaction of Christ JesusMe, Myself, And I and “Doing Me”

NOT YOUR OLD SELF

You are not your old self anymore when you are born again and a new true disciple of Jesus (Galatians 2:20).  That means your old self and its selfish wants and desires have also been put to death (Galatians 5:24).  This is not an option or opinion; this is a fact for all who truly believe.  Before coming to faith; you were a slave to death and sin.  You put yourself, your wants, and your desires, in God’s place.  But, then through the works of Jesus, God bought your life. Paid your ransom and purchased your freedom; for Himself.


Also read The New You Forever

NOT YOUR OWN BODY 


1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says it clear as day: Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (HCSB)”.  Your body is not your own!  it is a temple of God now.  It is for HIS use in this world.  It is not yours to do what you desire and what you want for your own satisfaction and glory.  If you are in Christ, your body is his instrument for God’s glory and Will.

Also read All Christians Are Missionaries


PROPERTY OF GOD

 Very similarly to the fact that followers of Christ do not have the rights to their body; it is even deeper than just our flesh.  Who you ARE as an individual belongs to God.  You are completely secured by him in him for him.


Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out…. This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day…No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:37,39,44.  Acts 20:28 states that the church (the people) have been “purchased”.  1 Peter 2:9 says that we are his possession with his purpose.  


We do not purchase or own people; nor should we have ever.  The sinfulness of human trafficking and slavery is an obvious sinful human distortion.  Leave it up to mankind to take something that God does and twist it for mans own sinful wants and desires.  History shows that humanity wants to be like god and be a sort of master of their own.  Those who are in Christ, BELONG to Christ, forever.

Also read God’s Glory Alone
  
SELF SACRIFICE


What are you WILLING to sacrifice for God?  Are you willing to give up everything you own (Matthew 19:21)? Willing to give up friends so that you can remain faithful to the Lord (Matthew 18:17)?  Willing to give up family and even your self (Luke 14:26)?  Are you willing to give up your LIFE for Jesus (Matthew 10:39, 16:25)?  Jesus just named off everything that could be possibly be required of you to follow Jesus. Examine you self (2 Cor 13:5) and determine if you are willing to lose everything in this world to follow Jesus Christ as Lord God and savior and proclaim his Glory (Luke 9:20). 


Health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity teachers have the biggest problem with this.  Why would such a positive loving God take away your health, wealth and happiness?  They fail to study Job and fail to understand that God’s Glory is more important than anything in this life or in this world.  That greater wealth is in the next life and eternal health is already given.  Emotionalism and new age positivism clouds their understanding of God’s Love.  God loves us so much HE IS WILLING to give us the desires of our hearts… even if that includes everything except him, even when it means eternal death (Romans 1:24; Ps 81:12) or, in Job’s case, God is willing to allow everything taken away, for his glory and Love.

Also read More Valuable than Money 


SUMMERY:


What does a self-denying, self-sacrificing, instrument of God’s Glory do and look like?  These individuals produce GOOD fruit because of the spirit that is in them (Matthew 7:13-20). 

  • They GIVE their own possessions, time, and talents to family, friends, strangers, and enemies even if it makes them ‘broke’.
  • They SERVE their family, friends, strangers, and enemies when it is easy and hard.
  • They are HUMBLE and do not require or seek self recognition for all their giving and serving. 
  • They are THANKFUL for what they have and only desire what God has provided.
  • They PRAY for family, friends, strangers, and enemies when it is easy and hard.
  • They SEEK God’s Glory in every opportunity to proclaim The Gospel to family, friends, strangers, and enemies when it is easy and when it is hard.

In contrast, those who are not self-denying, are not self-sacrificing, and are not a willful instrument of God.  These individuals produce BAD fruit that is recognizable as well.

  • They DEMAND possessions, time, and talents from family, friends, strangers, and enemies.
  • They EXPECT their family, friends, strangers, and enemies to serve them when it is easy and hard.
  • They are PROUD and require or seek self recognition for all their giving and serving. 
  • They are SELF RIGHTEOUS and do not think they are wrong when they feel they try hard and work hard.
  • They PRAY for more possessions, time, and talents from family, friends, strangers, and enemies and EXPECT God to give it.
  • They SEEK their own benefit and their religious beliefs as a tool to their own end.

Also read The Errors of The Modern Prosperity Gospel 

 

Key Concepts:


Self-Denial
Self-Sacrifical
New Self in Christ
Purchased by God

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