Monday, March 8, 2010

Free to Live (Revised)

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made Himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!" ~Philippians 2:1-8

I wonder how my life would be different if it weren't all about ME. MY desires. MY decisions. MY day.  I'm discovering more and more that life is a whole lot more interesting, more joyful, more free, when I take the focus off myself.  The problem is, I'm not very good at taking the focus off myself. 

"What a wretched [woman] I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!" ~Romans 7:24

The world says to look out for number one, but what a self-destructive path that is.  What an empty, lifeless world is the one that revolves around ME.  Over and over, God is teaching me that He came to give us LIFE. Real life. An adventure into unexpected grace.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly." ~John 10:10

Not a life absent of trouble, but a life of peace in the midst of uncertainty, joy in the midst of heartache.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." ~Matthew 11:28-30

But I can't have both at the same time.  I've tried that, and it doesn't work.  I have to choose.  My life or His?

"We've got to stop preaching this gospel that says you can add Jesus to your life. What the gospel teaches is you lose your life and then you find it. You sacrifice everything and Jesus says, 'I offer you something better.' "  ~Francis Chan.

"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 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

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." ~Galatians 2:20

"Our old body of sin, the nature that must seek its own way, the person who is hopelessly depraved and resigned to failure, hangs limp on the cross. Raised in its place is the Spirit of the Living God poured into a temple of flesh so that God's presence will remain among men...Oh, that we would not cling to the things of our old body of sin. It is nothing but a decaying carcass. I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live but Christ lives in me." ~Beth Moore on Galations 2:20

Lord, set me free from the captivity of self. I'm weary of ME. Replace me with YOU.  For in You and You alone is the path of life.

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