The Lie of Me, Myself and I

girl-looking-in-mirrorRecently a friend passed on a great quote from C. S. Lewis that led me to some thinking and some self-evaluation. The quote read like this, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

This is so true. It seems like that when I have the proper focus in life (on loving God and loving others) things go smoothly, but when I allow selfishness to creep into my life, this self-focus leads to sin.

Selfishness puts me first. It’s the old, me myself and I mentality. It’s an inward focus versus an outward focus. It’s desiring one’s own way versus God’s way (which is being others minded).

Selfishness whispers things to us like, I deserve this, I’m going to do it my way, It’s not fair, It’s their fault, I need to be heard or get my needs met. Notice how most of these statements contain an I, me or my.

Jesus was the perfect example to us of being other’s minded. He didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.

Jesus who was sinless, laid down his life so that we could be freed from sins grip and the death we rightly deserved. He paid the ultimate price (his life) so that we could live.

Jesus’ earthly life was a picture of perfect humility. The creator of the universe chose to put on human skin and become like us, so he could show us the way. He could have come as a King or conqueror, but instead he came as a suffering servant (Isaiah 53).

Before his death, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. He then told them that they should do the same (John 13:15). This act of servant-hood and humility was a foreshadow of his ultimate act of humility and love on the cross.

Jesus came to set us free from a life of selfish sinfulness. His death bought us freedom. Galatians 5:13 says,“For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another.” 

Scripture therefore tells us we are to present ourselves as “living sacrifices” because of what God has done for us (Romans 12:1). This means laying down our own wants and desires so that we take on Jesus’ wants and desires for us. It’s in dying to our own selfish desires (sinfulness), so that we become more like Him.

We as believers are called to die to ourselves daily and to take up our cross and follow Him. In doing so we don’t think less of ourselves (because we are children of the King), but rather we think of ourselves less so that we can become more others minded and serve others because of what Jesus has done for us.

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Corinthians 5:15

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole.He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:5

Father God forgive me for the times I’ve given in to the lie, of me, myself and I. Help me to fight the good fight of faith and to live others minded.  Help me to daily take up my cross daily so I can follow you. Thank you that you are good, gracious and loving father. And thank you for this most amazing love ever, a love willing to die for me. Help me to live for you! To you be the glory both now and forever! AMEN

More than Enough

more than enough

It doesn’t take much looking around to notice this world is in a mess. Sickness, heartaches, war, poverty and injustice are just a few of the many problems we see in our world today. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the mess before us that we can lose sight of the truth and goodness of our creator God.

Sometime back, at one of our morning ladies bible studies, we had a discussion about this very thing. These difficult things sometimes leave us to question God’s reasoning behind all the pain, suffering and injustice we see in the world, especially knowing that God is all-powerful and that he could take it all away if he chose to. Many grapple with this very question, “How can a good God allow this kind of pain and suffering, especially the harm of the innocent?”

It is important for us to understand that suffering is not caused by God but by sin. It is a result of the fallen world we live in. In the first chapter of the bible, it tells us that God created everything and called it good. We had paradise and perfect fellowship with our creator. But things went from good to bad when man decided to do things his way versus God’s way. We exchanged the truth of God for the lies of Satan. Adam and Eve did the one thing that God told him not to, (he ate the forbidden fruit) and therefore they experienced spiritual death and separation from God. This is where sin, sickness, suffering and death entered the picture.

But even in man’s rebellion against God, He was still making a way for us. Because of His great love for us (his creation), He had a plan to bring us back in right relationship with himself. He did so by putting on human skin and coming to the earth to live and eventually die for us. His blood was the perfect atonement for our sins. His death defeated death once and for all and made a way for us to come to God. His resurrection was a picture of the new life we can have in Christ so we don’t need to stay in our trespasses and sin but live the resurrected life just like Jesus did.

The bible says in John 10:10 . . . “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” The thief (Satan) is the enemy of our souls and he is God’s enemy. Anytime we believe his lies, we allow him territory in our lives and this is what he does. . . He steals, He kills and He destroys. He robs us of the fruitfulness (abundance) that God desires for us.

God doesn’t want us to merely get by, but to be living an abundant life. In 2 Peter 1:3-8 we are told . . . “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

An abundant life does not mean our lives are pain or trouble-free, that would be contrary to the Word. The bible tells us we will share in Christ’s sufferings through trials in this life. But with Christ on our side, we can experience victory in the midst of them. We become over-comers through the blood of Christ and the word of our testimony.

Living in abundance means a life overflowing. When we put our trust in Christ He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey. By daily walking in the spirit, we begin to experience the “more than enough” abundance God promises. More love, more joy, more peace, more patience, more kindness, more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness and more self-control. I know I want to have a fruitful abundance of all these things, and I know God want’s that for you too!

I’ve come up with a list of ten things that I believe will help us in the journey towards the abundant life God promises us:

  1. Putting God First -Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37,
  2. Walking in Loving relationship with Others – A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39 Proverbs 27:17
  3. Living Humble by recognizing you are sinner saved only by God’s Grace Romans 3:10; Romans 3:23
  4. Understanding who you are In Christ (Your Identity) as a believer Isaiah 43:1, 1 Cor. 6:20
  5. Walking in Dependence of God, daily need for His provision Philippians 4:19
  6. Obedience to God’s Word John 15:14; Luke 11:28
  7. Trusting in God and His Promises Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Cor. 1:20
  8. Living your life as an act of Worship Romans 12:1
  9. Living Prayerful – Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  10. Living Thankful – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives…He becomes “More Than Enough.” He is the only one who can help us to experience the abundant life he desires for each of us!