Friday, April 7, 2023

Not about Self or Self-love

Not about Self or Self-love 
by David Brenneman 

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20 NASB 

So many "professionals" in this world want to tell so many about how to fix self.  That's not a grammatical error, that was intentional.  

So much is "preached" on doing this or that for self.  How to have greater self-love, self this or self that. 

How to succeed if you just do this or just do that.

We read about self differently in the Bible. 
We aren't to be lovers of self. We are to deny self, DAILY, take up our own cross and follow Jesus. 

Quite the opposite of what the world tells us. 

People in ads tell us we need this or that to feel better about ourselves. We need this product or that in order to gain an advantage over something or someone else.

Even in some churches legalism pushes the love of self by calling it other things. 

Pushing self higher and higher is also referred to as puffing up oneself. It's what the Bible refers to as pride. 

Paul says this in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 NASB  "Boasting is necessary, though it is not beneficial; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.  I know a man in Christ, who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.  And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.  In behalf of such a man I will boast; but in my own behalf I will not boast, except regarding my weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me. Because of the extraordinary greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!  Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

Our time on this Earth is to be spent in pursuit of growing in Christ Jesus. Our sanctification is more important than our happiness.  We're taught to lay aside the old self and to put on Christ in another place in the New Testament. When we grow in Christ we're also to be pointing others to Jesus.  Not wasting our time on the things of this world that really don't matter.  

What good is it going to be for any who stand before Jesus, claiming Him as their Savior, yet have nothing to show concerning it because they wasted all opportunities to grow in Christ by spending their time on themselves instead?  What did Jesus say?

My Friend, don't waste your life pursuing self.  Don't be concerned about what others think of you, as the Disciples were told, so are we, "What is that you? YOU follow Me!".

We are to be growing in Christ and are to be pointing people to Jesus.  After we help them with the introduction, it is between them and God.  We don't save anyone. Jesus is the one who saves.  

Doing what's right in your own eyes only gets you in trouble.  

Listening to the voices of people that get you to lift you up versus you listening to the Spirit and who God says you are in Christ Jesus will get you into trouble. 

1 John 2:16 NASB "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world."

In this time of year in many many places Biblical Communion takes place. The Bible says for each to examine themselves before participating.  

"Search me, God, and know my heart; Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way." Psalm 139:23-24 NASB 

We read of how in the last days men and women will be lovers of self.  Be on your guard.  For the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. 

Many times he takes the form of people promoting self.  He takes the form of people claiming to be helping but instead they are leading people away from the truth of God's word.  We're told to be alert against false teachers. 

Examine yourself today before you think about maybe participating in a communion service.  Make sure your life is a life of obedience to what the Spirit wants in it.  

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