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Jump-Start Your Day

Tuesday, August 7th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

THIS DYING TO SELF IS KILLING ME

"...he that loses his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 10:39)

 

Yea, giving up Coke or cake because the doctor says, "Do it, or else!" is bad enough. But giving up those things that one feels his/her life depends on is a whole separate ballgame. It may be a career. Peter, James and John gave up their fishing nets for Christ. That might be easy for you, but fishing was all they ever knew. Today we have other "nets", net-gain, net-worth, the basketball net, perhaps even the Internet. "For my sake" is the qualifier. If Peter has to let go of fishing it is only so he can move to a higher level of fishing, fishing for men. Another word for losing one's life is "crucifixion", and death to self always means resurrection to a better and higher state. Williams translates the verse, "Anyone who gains his lower life will lose his higher life". John Maxwell added, "To go up you have to give up". That means giving up a hobby, a favorite TV show, perhaps Sunday sports or seconds at Golden Corral.

 

The part in dying to self that kills us the most is surrendering relationships. Baptist evangelist Hyman Appelman had to pry his Jewish mother's fingers loose from his arms as he boarded the train en route to Bible school. She didn't want him to make what she considered a huge mistake. In Islamic countries a Christian baptism certificate becomes a death certificate. There losing one's life for Christ's sake becomes literal, not figurative. Paul said he died daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). Jesus demands of each disciple, "Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily..." (Luke 9:23) This dying to self is killing me. I feel it every morning when I make the choice to follow Christ. The hardest thing Billy Graham said he ever had to do was let go of his high school sweetheart to go into the ministry. We all have various loves that beg attention.

 

It is the flesh that we fight so hard to preserve. That is why eventually even the body that you have lived in fifty, seventy, ninety years must be given back to dirt. The whole process is a pruning away of all that is temporal. Isaac is demanded of Abraham, "But Lord, my life is bound up in the child!" He forfeited his life on Mt. Moriah that day but found his life in the process. God asks for a certain dollar figure, "But Lord, that is my life savings!" You let it go and it comes back "pressed down, shaken together, and running over". Many parents have outlived their offspring, a life aberration that no one wants to go through. That parent who loses his life will find it, but maybe not in this life. "For my sake" may mean that you have to put plans on hold. You fall in love with someone and for any of a thousand reasons it doesn't work out. The Living Bible says, "If you cling to your life you will lose it". Oh how we want to cling! A cedar chest of memories from younger days is kept under lock and key lest he or she forgets what it was like to be happy. Here's a solemn fact, the high call of life is not to be happy but to be holy. What it boils down to is, how long do you plan on living? If it is over after seventy or eighty years then "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die". But if there is a Land Beyond then we will have to let go whatever of earth our fingers so tightly grip or else we will stay grounded when others have taken flight. This dying to self is killing me...but then...me was the problem all along.


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