A lesson in dealing with self-Part 1

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A lesson in dealing with self-Part 1             

Luke 9:23-24 “Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever loses his life for me will save it.” NIV Bible

Extra Reading: Luke 9:18-27  

When we want to see a meaningful change in our lives and honour Christ with all that we are is dying to self first. The biblical perspective concerning “self” is exactly opposite to what the wisdom of this world proclaims (based on Proverbs 14:12; Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 10:23; Luke 9:23-24; 1 Cor. 3:19-20; 1 John 2:15-17). In this devotion, we need to contrast the truth of God’s Word regarding self with the erroneous view of the natural man self-belittlement, self-exaltation, and self-pity. God’s Word and man’s philosophy regarding envy, jealousy, covetousness, and greed are different. You need to constantly check how your responses to problems indicate either a focus on pleasing God or pleasing self. In this world you will face constant temptations to self-centredness that lead to thoughts, words, and actions that are devastating to the Body of Christ and your own walk with the Lord. Because they characterize your life apart from Christ, these sins must be confessed and overcome if you are to mature as a child of God (cf. Proverbs 28:13; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 6:12-13).

No one hates himself; rather, he loves, cherishes, and nourishes himself (Matthew 22:39; Ephesians 5:29). Man’s problem is that he pays too much attention to self, not too little (Luke 9:24; Philippians 2:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). A proper view of self comes from an understanding of who you are in Christ (Romans 8:14-17; Ephesians 1:13-14). As a child of God, you have the assurance that your Heavenly Father, out of His grace and mercy, is involved actively in your life (Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9-10) in spite of your natural inadequacies (Psalm 62:9). While you are totally inadequate to live God’s way in your own strength, God has chosen you to be a testimony of His power to the world (1 Cor. 1:26-31). He give you a purpose for living by conforming you to the image of Christ (Matthew 5:16; Romans 8:28-29; 2 Cor. 5:17-20).

Your contentment in all circumstances is dependent on your obedient response to God in your deeds (thoughts, words, actions) (Genesis 4:7; Psalm 119:165; Luke 11:28). By obeying the Lord in your daily walk, you show your love for the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:15, 21, 23-24; 1 John 2:4-5) and demonstrate His Lordship in your life (Matthew 7:21). God has delight and pleasure in your obedience of faith (1 Samuel 15:22; Hebrew 11:6), not merely in your protestations of loyalty (Proverbs 20:6), your expressions of remorse, or your good but meaningless activities (Psalm 40:6; Jeremiah 6:20). Self-belittlement, self-exaltation, and self-pity all indicate a preoccupation with self. Inordinate attention to self is the exact opposite of God’s commandments to love Him and others. A self-focus also prohibits the development of a Christlike servant attitude in you. If you try to save your life by focusing on self, you will reap a certain consequence; instead of saving your life, you will lose it (Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 9:23-25). May God help you to focus on Him.

Prayer: Father God, help us to focus on You, rather than on ourselves always. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise 

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