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A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

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A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it–but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world–and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25 

We learn here, the absolute necessity of daily self-denial. Every day we ought . . .
  to crucify the flesh,
  to overcome the world,
  and to resist the devil. 

We ought to keep our bodies under control, and bring them into subjection. We ought to be on our guard, like soldiers in an enemy’s country. We ought to fight a daily battle–and war a daily warfare. The command of our Master is clear and plain, “If any man will come after Me–let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Now what do we know of all this? Surely this is a question which ought to be asked. A little formal church-going, and a decent attendance at a place of worship–can never be the Christianity of which Christ speaks in this place. 

Where is our self-denial? 

Where is our daily carrying of the cross? 

Where is our following of Christ? 

Without a religion of this kind–we shall never be saved. 

A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

No self-denial–no real grace! 

No cross–no crown! 

Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

Adapted From Calvin Schlabach

“BE DIFFERENT! Don’t go with the flow!” we are urged. “Don’t follow the crowd! Even a dead fish can float downstream.” It does not take any effort or work on the part of a fish to go with the flow and drift downstEven a dead fish can float. Only a living and healthy fish can swim against the current and travel upstream. In the same way, any weak Christian can live like the world; it takes a vital, healthy faith to enable someone to stand on their convictions, firm against the tide of opinion and the example of unbelievers.

Perhaps we can carry the analogy a bit further. With the polluted condition of many of our modern streams and rivers, it is not only dead fish that float downstream. Trash, industrial waste, and pollutants of one kind or another floats downstream. A fish that travels in that direction finds itself swimming in increasingly fouled and filthy waters. The purest, cleanest waters are found farther upstream nearer the source, where people rarely go. What kind of water would you rather swim in? What kind of life would you rather have? Pure waters are reached only by swimming against the current!

Obviously, we do not want to be one of those wimpy, weak-willed, dead-fish Christians; yet it is so easy to go with the flow and follow the crowd. If we carelessly live like everyone else, we will find ourselves surrounded by the pollution of sin. Is there any way out of this mess? What does it take for us to be able to swim against the current and move farther upstream? I suggest that we need to concentrate on five main points.

Convictions

We will have to know what we believe and then hold to it strongly, for, as it has often been said, those who stand for nothing will fall for anything. We are given the teachings of the apostles and prophets so that we may “no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). We must read our Bibles, accept the principles we find there as our standard of conduct, and then stand firmly on scriptural convictions! How rare it is to see that today! Most of us are so caught up in feelings and tradition, we do not allow truth to shine through.

Courage

The unbelievers will not make it to heaven: “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). When they see that God’s way will require them to leave the false security of doing what all the rest of the world is doing and strike out on their own, their hearts will fail them. Rather than standing against the crowd with the courage of convictions (Romans 8:31), they take the easy way out, turning back to the world, to sin and condemnation. Joshua said, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go” (1:9).

Strength

We must have power and might to stand firmly against the flood of evil that would swiftly sweep us downstream to our destruction. Paul said, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). We could not successfully withstand temptation and sin that threatens our spiritual well-being by ourselves. Therefore, we are called to “be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Fortified with power that comes only from God (Ephesians 3:16), we can say with Paul, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Endurance

For most of us, the Christian race is not a brief sprint to the finish line, but rather it is a long, grueling marathon. Listen to the words of the Hebrew writer, “You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised … ‘My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him’” (10:36, 38). It is so sad to see those who have started on the Christian way later give up, forfeiting the race. They did not have the the long-distance endurance to run the race through to the end. Therefore, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Heavenly Goals

The reason we want to travel upstream is because we are seeking something better and higher than the careless world around us. We are not trying to be different from the world just for the sake of being different. We are different because we are pursuing different goals. We have to keep these goals continually before us. Paul said, “Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is … Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). Raise your sights! Don’t follow the foolish crowd!

Follow Close After The Lord

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It is easy to follow a person’s footprints if we walk close behind him, but if we walk some distance back, we might fail to see them as clearly.  Similarly, if we follow close after the Lord, we would easily see the footsteps along the way, but if we try to follow afar off, we would find it difficult to know the path of His will.

Andrew Bonar

Following Jesus

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“In teaching people what it means to be a Christian, we spend much of our time and effort bringing them to a point of belief without clearly calling them to follow. We have taken “believe” and we have written that in capital letters with bold print: BELIEVE. But everything that has to do with following has been put in small print: follow.”

Jesus doesn’t hold back with Nicodemus.

Following Jesus would require a commitment that would cost Nicodemus a great deal….In fact, it’s true throughout all of Scripture….Following Jesus isn’t something you can do at night where no one notices. It’s a twenty-four-hour-a-day commitment that will interfere with your life. That’s not the small-print–that’s a guarantee.”

Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus

Overflowing With Hope

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“The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a bucket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them.”

Ravi Zacharias

What Are We Waiting For?

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There are fathers waiting until other obligations are less demanding to become acquainted with their sons.  There are mothers who sincerely intend to be more attentive to their daughters.  There are husbands and wives who are going to be more understanding.  But time does not draw people closer.  When in the world are we going to begin to live as if we understood that this is life?  This is our time, our day…and it is passing.  What are we waiting for?

Richard L. Evans

Diet or Die – Part 2

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Romans 12:1 (VOICE)
Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship.

My Thoughts 💭 

wow what a roller coaster of a journey so far this year as I battle with my life long overeating fleshly desire! God has taught me so much this year about facing giants and humbling myself before him in prayer each morning to die daily, pick up my cross and follow Jesus.

If only my body would’ve heard my prayer too! lol. 

I started my inner revolution at the end of January (see Part 1) and as of this morning i’ve lost 1Stone 5lbs (19lbs) and i’m truly blessed with the work God is doing in me.

📖 Verse 4 2day! 

Romans 7:10-12 (VOICE)
This commandment was supposed to bring life; but in my experience, it brought death. Sin took advantage of the commandment, tricked me, and exploited it in order to kill me. 

Over the years i’ve always made my own commandments/rules when setting up a diet or healthy eating plan such as:

  • only having one takeaway a month
  • cutting down on fried foods
  • Not eating supper late at night just before I go to bed
  • And on, and on, and on

This only aroused my sin and focused my mind on the foods I was cutting out, as my body loved them and had lived on them up until this point. Predictably I failed (or learnt how not to do it) then carried on eating junk food to put on more weight than I started with!

It was only when I stopped trying to make lists etc and give it all to God, did I notice a huge difference. 

I’m able to eat all foods which has stopped me focusing on the ones i’d usually cut out, but now I feel so good I don’t want to choose anything that’s going to bring me down or make me feel tired. I no longer feel that I want takeaways as i’m enjoying the feeling that healthy foods give me.

I had to fight temptation from every angle, but even when I lapsed, I didn’t stay down feeling like a failure, I jumped right back into prayer and staggered on through my personal storm. 

 🙏 Prayer 4 2day!  

“Father, I ask that You would give me a moment to pause, right now, to contemplate what You say is true about my nature—that I am both dead to sin, and alive in Christ. This is too deep, too profound for me. I need You to lead me into the Truth so that I can be free to live according to my new nature as the Spirit leads and empowers me. Amen.”

Back To Part 1

Part 3 (Dec 2013)

Please keep me in your prayers! 🙂

Draftin’

 My Thoughts 💭 

is your heart causing a draft over people?
Are you the ice cold draft that puts a chill into people even before you meet? If someone were to say your name does it make them sigh and say “Oh no I haven’t got the energy.” Or does your name bring a smile to their face as they can’t wait to meet up again.
 
Or are you a draft project?
Not quite finished or ready to be published yet, a broken toy forgotten on a shelf complaining because you feel your days are over. Are you sat waiting to bury your dead? waiting for your inheritance which you think will heal you. Then, and only then you decide to let Jesus walk alongside you but NEVER in front.
 
Or do you create a backdraft?
Are you opening doors you know you shouldn’t be opening? Are you letting the flames consume you and pollute your mind?
 
Or are you draftin’? 
Are you letting Jesus lead? Are you following really close behind as he pulls you along, while leaving you with the energy to help others and become your own draft? 
 
 
 

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