Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The gain of self-denial

We are called to deny ourselves (e.g. fast) regularly to help maintain our focus and dependence on God, who is true life, instead of on the pleasures of creation.

When we least want to deny ourselves may likely be when we most need to.

If we regularly choose to act in ways that require us to depend and focus on God instead of the pleasures of this life we are deliberately humbling ourselves. 

We are not only called to this but this also leads to our ultimate joy and gain. 

Denying ourselves pleasures of this life (for a season) leads us to finding greater pleasures in God; a feasting on God himself as well as increased gratitude for his good gifts. Not only pleasures in God now but in the next life as well. In fact the greater our pleasure in him in this life the greater our capacity to enjoy him in the next life. 

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." - James an apostle of Jesus. Jas 4:10  

And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save itFor what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" - Jesus. Luk 9:23-25

"Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." - Jesus right before his betrayal. Luk 22:42 

"...but (Jesus) emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, - Paul and apostle of Jesus Php 2:7-9

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Grace to you
Jim Deal