No only has one meaning

No.

If we don’t get past telling our kids “no” and on to telling ourselves “no” then we’re heading for as much trouble as they should be when they don’t listen…especially when it comes to following Jesus.

Denying-self is simply a different way of having to tell ourselves “no”. And denying self is simply something that we must say “yes” to.

Inconvenient? We better believe it! Still necessary? We better believe that too!

So just to make sure we all understand what’s getting said (because the word “no” has so many meanings, right?) – if we’re someone that does not like hearing the word “no” then we’re not going to like what we’re about to hear:

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:23-25)

#denying-the-flesh, #following-jesus, #self-denial

Self-centeredness is cast aside in Christianity

The cross of Christ was in the center of the three crosses the day Jesus was crucified (John 19:17-19), but it’s not because Jesus was self-centered (Mark 15:27-28).

From his birth to his death, Jesus led a life of self-denial (Philippians 2:5-8). This self-denial wasn’t denial for the purpose of denial in-and-of-itself. Nor was Jesus’ self-denial for purpose of making himself the center of attention (John 14:10). Jesus’ self-denial was for the purpose of helping others and glorifying his father in Heaven (Acts 10:36-38; Matthew 5:16).

Self-centeredness must be cast aside to follow Jesus. Look at the context of Paul’s, “Let this mind be in you…” statement in Philippians 2:5. The context is getting rid of self-centeredness (Philippians 2:1-4). It’s then that Paul proves his point by using Jesus as an example as to why the church at Philippi (and us today) should look beyond their own circle of self when it comes to dealing with others.

But in case you have some unreasonable reason that causes “Paul’s words” to carry no weight with you – keep Luke 9:23 in mind and get over yourself.

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:1-7 – NKJV)

#following-jesus, #jesus, #jesus-christ, #self-denial, #self-centered

Moses had choices and so do we

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Kick back and relax? Moses could have chosen to kick back and relax with the best of today’s social media celebrities!

Live it up? Moses could have chosen to live it up with the best of today’s children of powerful politicians.

Don’t get distracted with religion? Moses could have chosen to go with the grain and follow his adopted culture’s popular polytheistic ways.

Live for today? Moses could have chosen to see this world as the end all be all when it comes to achievement.

Plain and simple – Moses could have chosen a lot of different things, but he chose a “life for good” over “the good life”, and such is the call that God’s anointed has given us today.

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:43-39)

#calling, #choices, #christianity, #following-jesus, #moses

September 2014 Issue of Christian Worker

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • Is the Church the Kingdom? (Tim Ayers)
  • The Hardening of Pharoah’s Heart (Sam Willcut)
  • The Placid Pulpit (Rick Popejoy)
  • The Blind Beggar (David B. Jones)
  • “I Want to be a Soul Winner for Jesus” (Sam Willcut)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#blind-beggar, #christian-worker, #following-jesus, #personal-work, #pharoahs-heart, #preaching, #the-church-and-the-kingdom

The Amazing Enduring Perseverance of the Apostle Paul

Just think about this for a second:

in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:27-28 – NKJV)

If you’re familiar with this section of scripture then you’ll know that this is only a snippet of the turmoil’s that Paul experienced while spreading the word of God. It was a daily battle that could be summed up with the old saying, “there’s no rest for the weary.” Physically, mentally and spiritually, Paul was a target of the lion who was roaming about (1 Peter 5:8). But he hung in there! But how?

The success of Paul’s enduring perseverance can easily be seen in his willingness to keep his eye’s on Jesus and his hope in the grace of God found in the gospel of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3, Romans 8:23-25). Paul encouraged people to follow him as he followed Jesus knowing full well that the path to eternal life was only found by following the steps of the Savior (1 Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 3:20-21; Hebrews 2:9-10). He loved the word of God, the gospel that it contained, the church that it produced and the people whose names filled the Lamb’s Book of Life, and even those who had not yet been added.

An enduring perseverance like Paul’s doesn’t happen accidentally and it doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen by sitting on the sidelines. An enduring perseverance comes by trials, by bearing fruit, by faithfulness and by holding strong to the words and love of Jesus that won’t allow our burdens to become too heavy to keep us from following Him (Matthew 7:24-29, 11:28-30).

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

#apostle-paul, #christian-living, #christianity, #endurance, #following-jesus, #perseverance