Thursday, March 5, 2015

Part 2.... The SIGN of the CROSS ... in the Inner Man


Drawing by The ORDER of the GOOD SHEPHERD+
Part  2 of Byron Miller's Message, Wellspring Mennonite Church,Athens, Tn


Who is in control ? 

Self will rationalize, it will deceive, it will twist facts. 

It will convince us that something is a "GOD-given right." 

How many times have we expressed that, or felt that, or heard that ? 

It is " a GOD-given right," we affirm .... 

in order for Self to retain that place in our heart.

As long as we look at things from our own perspective --- and not FROM GOD'S perspective --- that will be our mind-set.

Self on the Throne asks, "Will GOD punish me if I do that?" or "What is wrong with this ?" That is a pretty popular one: I am sure we have all heard that one and we have probably all said that, from time to time.

Well, What  is wrong with those sentiments, 
with those statements ?

The reality is, we should rather be saying, "Will this honor CHRIST, my Master ?  

" Am I the focus in my life ...or is CHRIST?

Instead, we say, "How will CHRIST enhance or make my life better ?"  --- or perhaps --- "How will CHRIST help me?"  

Now, not that HE+ will not, not that CHRIST does not, make our life better; yes, and we praise the LORD for that.

But... is "making my life easier or more comfortable" to be my focus, rather than building Christ's Kingdom?  

What can I do to honor my LORD and my GOD ? That should be my focus, our focus.

Too many times, though, we view the Christian life as, "What is it doing for me ? " rather than, "What can I do for The LORD ? "  How can I honor Him+ and build His+ Kingdom ?

In Philippians 2.... starting in verse 5

 Let this mind be in you, which was also in CHRIST JESUS:

Who+, being in the form of GOD, thought it not robbery to be equal with GOD: But made HIMSELF+ of no reputation, and took upon HIM+ the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, HE+ humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the CROSS.

While here on this earth, JESUS' ministry and His+ life-focus and everything that encompassed His+ Ministry here, was engulfed ...  was consumed ... with putting forward GOD'S kingdom.

 His+ focus was not on His+ own comforts. 

It was not all about "him," humanly-speaking. 

HE+ was not Self-centered, not even focused on His+ soon return to Heaven with all its glories and all its appeal. 

HE+ said to one would-be follower, "I do not even have a rock to lay My+ head on." And HE+ was the Creator of it all !


Now, can we get that mind-set, 

can we grasp how EMPTY of Self HE+ was ?

Oh Heavenly FATHER... 

How far I have strayed from the straight and narrow path, that for me to live is to empty my Self into Thy hands, unto Thy Will, for Thy good pleasure ! 

O LORD, help me not to be like those foolish maidens , so nonchalant about their coming LORD and Bridegroom.

Grant me the unction to sit quietly before THEE, to listen for Thy Word, to abide in stillness with THEE as my Beloved. 

Show me, O LORD, how to empty my Self and live unto CHRIST

How I long to see His+ Face ! 

Through the merits of Thy Beloved SON+, Our LORD and SAVIOR , JESUS the CHRIST, I pray. 

Amen


( To be continued to Part 3 )









xxx

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