Missing the point?

December 30, 2013

Have you really died to self? and where does it show?

Ramsau, Bavaria 177
Luke 9:23 says, “Take up his cross daily”;
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).;
Matthew 16:24-27 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”;
Matthew 10:37-39–“He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
2. Mark 10:21–“Jesus, beholding him [the rich young ruler], loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
3. Luke 14:25-27–“There went great multitudes with him [Christ]; and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
4. John 12:24-25–Jesus said, “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
Matthew 16:24-27 is an oft-repeated principle. Even the apostle Paul said, “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). You will never understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ until you grasp the principle of winning by losing.;
Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.;
Romans 6:1-23 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.;
Habakkuk 2:18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
Gatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Matthew 8:20 Jesus tells a would-be disciple that “foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has not where to lay his head.” How really different is this from the lifestyle of the rich and famous TV preachers, evangelists..
THE REALITY IS THAT TOO MANY CHRISTIANS ARE STILL LIVING IN THE KINGDOM OF SELF, HAVE NOT DIED TO SELF.. THEY ARE STILL NARCISSUS. There is still the false current trend in much of contemporary Christianity toward self-centered consumption.
“ Common Traits of the self-centered life:
A secret spirit of pride – an exalted feeling because of our success, position, training, appearance, natural gifts or abilities; an important, independent spirit; stiffness and preciseness.
Carnal fear – being afraid of what others may think of us; shrinking from our duty (especially by those of wealth or position); reasoning around our cross; fearfulness that someone will offend and drive away some prominent person; compromising our principles to stay on someone’s good side.
A jealous disposition – a secret spirit of envy; an unpleasant sensation when another is prosperous or successful; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings of those more talented and appreciated than ourselves, instead of their gifts and virtues, in order to make ourselves look better, more discerning, or sophisticated.
Love of human praise – a secret desire to be noticed or given credit; enjoyment of praise or flattery; feeling badly when we weren’t thanked; drawing attention to ourselves and our accomplishments in conversation; liking to be at the head of things.
A dishonest, deceitful disposition – evading the truth; covering up our real faults; leaving a better impression of ourselves than is strictly true; false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth.
Anger or impatience – (which we justify by calling it righteous indignation or nervousness); a touchy, sensitive spirit; resentment or retaliation when disapproved of or contradicted; a desire to throw sharp, heated, or barbed comments; becoming provoked over people, animals, or objects that will not co-operate with our desires; losing our temper when we’ve run out of arguments, so that our opponent will back off and we’ll still win; unexpressed stirrings of envy, jealousy, revenge, bitterness, or anger.
Self-will – a stubborn, unteachable spirit; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions; an unyielding, headstrong disposition; a driving, commanding spirit; criticizing and picking flaws when set aside and not noticed; a peevish, fretful spirit; loving to be coaxed and humoured; becoming miffed when we cannot have our own way, when others do better than us, when taken to task by someone in authority, when not put first, when not appreciated, or when others are advanced over us; sulking when slighted, imposed upon, insulted.
Stinginess – falling out with others over trifles; giving as little as possible; taking the best and leaving the rest for others; seeking the easiest tasks; love of money; love of ease.
Self-justification – desiring always to be right, and finding it painful to be proven wrong; feeling sore at losing a contest, game, argument, or election; being embarrassed when others point out our mistakes; being unable to say “I was wrong, please forgive me”; immediately blaming another when we are accused; excusing our own erroneous actions while magnifying the faults of others; rationalizing our failures by pointing to unfavourable circumstances when it was really our fault; believing that no-one can do it as well as we can; desiring the last word.”
Coming to Jesus Christ to get the material things is  prostitution. It is true that when you come to Christ you receive and continue to receive blessings from Him. But there must be a cross before a crown, suffering before glory, and sacrifice before reward. That is what our Lord teaches in Matthew 16:24-27. We are called to win by losing all, note all!.
Many people falsely still today wish to identify themselves with Christianity only for what they can get out of it for themselves and not what they can contribute to it. They view Jesus as a utilitarian genie, fulfilling every whim.. lusts, false desires of theirs.  So many here also do day say that Jesus wants to make them firstly  healthy, wealthy, prosperous and happy. If you are not all those things, then it is falsely  supposed that they  don’t have enough faith to appropriate what’s theirs. They here falsely claim Christianity is designed so you can get everything you speak, everything you do need and want.. They falsely do promote the get without the give, and the free gain without the pain. They will even char, lies, steal to get it and falsely justify. Self-esteem promoters tell us Jesus came to boost our self-image. But they have fallen victim to narcissism–the pervasive self-love of contemporary society.;
In Matthew 8:; verse 21 Jesus tells the disciples He would have to go to Jerusalem and be killed. The disciples never listened to the rest of what Jesus said after that; they heard only the shocking prophecy of His death. Verses 22-23 say, “Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee. But [Jesus] turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan.” Jesus recognized the real attacker. Peter was merely a tool: Satan had been trying to divert Christ from the cross ever since he first tempted Him in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11).; How different is this the Peter,  Judas as well reaction  today of  the many who falsely justify the prosperity Gospel? Not at all.. In verse 23 Christ categorizes Peter’s attitude: “Thou art an offense unto me; for thou savorest not the things that are of God, but those that are of men.” Peter offended Christ because he was following a worldly train of thought. Men of the world want gain without pain, a crown without the cross, glory without suffering, and a reward without sacrifice. But according to God the opposite is true. Whether incarnate in the Son or alive in the hearts of His people, God cannot exist in the midst of an anti-God society without generating some hostility. That’s why 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Peter still did not understand that holiness in the midst of an unholy society will always still create a negative reaction.;
Matthew 16:24 says, “Let him deny himself.” The Greek word translated “deny” means “to disown.” Verse 24 could be translated, “Let him refuse any association or companionship with himself.” Jesus is not referring to your conscious self. You must reach the point where you are willing to deny that you have the capacity to save yourself, or to be what God wants you to be. To come to Christ you must affirm that no good thing dwells in your flesh (Rom. 7:18), acknowledging you contribute nothing to your redemption.” The self-esteem cults that propagate love of self take people away from the message of the Bible. The more you love yourself, the less likely you are to sense your need for a Savior. To disown yourself is the first essential in the Christian life. That’s the way you come to Christ, and that’s the way you continue to live.; Paul also said, “We … worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). When you come to Christ, you must do so on His terms: self-denial.;
The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. He warned His disciples that they would be persecuted (v. 23) .Count the costs beforehand.. Matthew 10:24-25–Jesus said;The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. He warned His disciples that they would be persecuted (v. 23) Matthew 10:34-36–Jesus continued, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”;
Matthew 20: 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Narcissism  is used to describe a person characterized by harshness, egotism, vanity, pride, or selfishness.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a serious personal personality disorder in  which the individual is   excessively preoccupied with issues of personal needs, wants, desires, adequacy, power, prestige and even  vanity..
Persons diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder are characterized by unwarranted, false  feelings of self-importance. They are aggressors who have  an abnormal sense of entitlement and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behavior. They have a over inflated strong need for admiration of others, but meanwhile lack feelings of love, care, concerns empathy for others. Like the case of a father who buys a nice new car for himself while his own son suffers in poverty. These negative  qualities are usually defenses against a deep feeling of inferiority and of being in the past rejected, unloved. Example- Rebuked in a marriage proposal.
The concept of Narcissus, excessive selfishness has been recognized negative through the Bible  throughout history. Narcissism is usually considered a major problem in a person or group’s relationships with self and others.
These  people who are pathologically narcissistic, are very much controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of others’ needs as well.,  obvious self-focused in interpersonal exchanges, problems in sustaining, satisfying relationships. lack of love to others, no emotional attachments, difficulty with empathy, clear problems distinguishing the self from others, manifest a hypersensitivity to any insults  real or imagined insults, criticism and manifests often rage and objects to narcissistic injury, napoleon complex,  use contempt to minimize the other person, can resort to physical abuse of others quite easily, inability to process shame in healthy ways.; gentleness only to those who admire and affirm them , detesting those who do not admire them , use other people without considering the cost of doing so, imposters, hypocrites, pretending to be more important even to all others over what they really are, self promoter, mostly, takes advantage of others to reach own imposed goals, always expects to be recognized as superior and special, without any real even  superior accomplishments, falsely expects constant attention, admiration and positive reinforcement of their goodness  from others; arrogant in attitudes and behavior, expectations of special treatment that are unrealistic, often lying, ragging  and exaggerate of their achievements, values, effects., claiming to be a genius,  “expert” at all things, clearly cold, unloving, fruitless, inability to view the world from the perspective of other people, clear denial of any wrong doings,  guilt, remorse and evident no  gratitude.
Narcissists hold unreasonable and false expectations of particularly favorable treatment form all others and the related automatic compliance because they consider falsely do themselves special above all others. Failure to comply to praising them is considered a personal  attack on  them, their superiority, and the unacceptable perpetrator is  immediately considered an “enemy” or “crazy” person, censured, not to associate with anymore. Any  Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic even violent rage. All others are always to be placed in a  subservient position. All  Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all.
Narcissistic persons  see themselves as perfect, using distortion and their false illusion known , self  projection to dump shame falsely unto onto others.
A narcissistic person  may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
The  narcissistic person  who is feeling deflated does often  re-inflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else. In other words a Slave driver, a control freak and  Bully as well.
It was Christ who said, “You will know them by their fruits.” And Christ went on to say, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord.” shall even enter the kingdom of heaven next.”” Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father who is in heaven.” Which includes manifesting the fruit of the holy Spurt.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Ephesians 5″:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand;
The Word of God also tells us, “There are none good, no not one.” There are none inherently or presently totally good. “All always are sinners and all fall short of the glory of God.”
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
John 14 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 15: 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Zephaniah 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.
1 Corinthians 4:21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
Galatians 6;1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
1 John 1:5    This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
God created us to live our lives focused on Him. His purpose from the very beginning was that we should be “God-conscious,” not “self-conscious.”  Self-consciousness is just another way of saying self-centeredness, and self-centeredness really is the root of all grief, sin.
Self denial is not to deny one’s personality, it is instead the turning away from the idolatry of self centeredness and every attempt to orient one’s life by the dictates of self interest, Narcissism. “Denying ro oneself” is a consequence of true Christian faith, as it is not done not by ones works or legalistic obedience to the law,and the act leads one forward into the full life “in Christ.”
Galatians 2:  16    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17    But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18    For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19    For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21    I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. 
Matthew 10:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25  “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27) “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
Luke 9:22    Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23    And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24    For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25    For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Matt 10:38 38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.; 39) “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.;
Luke 14 :27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28  “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29) “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31) “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32) “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33  “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
In the Roman cultural context, “carrying the cross” was tacit admission that the criminal was wrong and that the death sentence was just. Death by crucifixion is what God still demands of you as well.
The first concern in the full, victorious,  Holy Spirit filled  life Christian life is dealing with the sin-controlled life as  trying to conquer all the many sins in our lives is hopeless without dealing with the root of sin — SELF.We may confess our sin all we like, but if we fail to die to self, that self will continue to produce sin. As our self centered life, unconfessed, continual  sin breaks our fellowship with God. Isaiah 59:2 tells us, “your iniquities have separated you from your God… that He will not hear”. God utterly hates sin in any form. To deal with sin, we need to agree with God about it, see it as He sees it, hate it as He hates it, and turn our back on it, Self is no longer to reign. “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” (Romans 6:11). Surrender your entire self-life for God to put to death, to  crucify it with Jesus, and let the empowerment of the Holy Spirit now rather control it..  Jesus Himself uses the symbol of cross to represent the need of dying to self  five times (Matt 10:38; 16:24-26; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:23-24; 14:27).    It’s as hopeless as trying to kill a weed by cutting off its leaves. As long as even a part of the root is left in the ground, it will produce more leaves. Self is the root and sin is the leaves. Sinful character traits and attitudes are only leaves on the weed root of self.  Dying to self is commanded in several Scriptures: “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” (Romans 6:11); “put to death your members” (Colossians 3:5); “put off the old man” (Ephesians 4:22 and Colossians 3:9); “they have crucified the flesh” (Galatians 5:24 and 2:20). The uniform message is: “you are dead in Christ; therefore die.” Dying to self does not destroy the real person, but rather it does deals with what pollutes and destroys you  the real person in Christ. That selfish, sinful nature contaminates us and prevents Christ’s victorious, Holy Spirit filled  life to be evidenced in us, until it is reckoned (counted) as dead. .Thank God for delivering you now  from self-centeredness, as an ongoing step of faith. We already do know this deliverance is His will, and “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (and) we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?;

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