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Your Life Will Never be the Same [podcast]

"He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." John 12:25

The “More Blessed” Life

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

The “more blessed” life is the cross life our LORD calls us to.

“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.” Luke 9:23-24

These are the words of the Messiah – who gave His life to purchase His church. And dare we say the eternal Word was “more blessed” as a result, as He brought back His alienated fallen race? (2 Corinthians 5:19-21)

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 

To lose our lives, to abandon them to Christ, is to gain them everlasting. Those living the more blessed life, are giving their lives over to the LORD daily, as Jesus instructed and in preference to Christ, their “first love.” (Revelation 2:4-5) They choose Him over themselves as Romans 12:1 declares to us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

“He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he can never lose.” Jim Elliott

Lose, forsake it all to gain it all.

Our lives are not our own. We’ve been bought with the highest price. – “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Do we begin to realize, to understand the Gospel? – to understand the price God chose to pay to buy us back to Himself out of the world, out of a life of sin, out of separation from Him?

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

The way we “glorify God in our body” is to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1) This is how we are to be crucified with Christ our LORD and thereby raised up into new life, the life of “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17)

Let’s look at and memorize our theme verse again:

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Perhaps many times we view the above statement in terms of giving money or aid to someone in need or to the work of Christ. Yet it seems that more important than giving some thing or some money, etc., is the giving over of our lives to the LORD. And, when our lives are given over to our Maker, our Savior, all we have will be His and giving will be the result of this crucified, raised up disposition (1 Chronicles 29:14; Matthew 6:19-21; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11).

Those who give their life over to the One who gave them life are “more blessed” than what they could ever otherwise be.

“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.” Galatians 2:20

In fact the cross life is the “more blessed” life Jesus is speaking of – the life that is dead, buried, and raised up with Christ (Luke 9:23-24; Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 4:10-12; Galatians 2:20, etc.). The resurrection is the healing, the wholeness! The life that isn’t “crucified with Christ” doesn’t get blessed with resurrection life and power. Only when the self-life is “crucified with Christ” can the blessing of the resurrection life of God be realized.

Of this, one writer notes:

“Healing is the resurrection. Wholeness, holiness, completeness, entireness, perfectness, undividedness are all words that describe those that are dying and RISING again with Christ.

The religious person, the legalist, humanly moral person are all divided. They are not whole or holy. They cannot be holy even if they, like the Pharisees, are strictly moral.  They do not know undivided unconditional love. Even the tax collectors can do conditional love said Jesus in Matt 5:38-48. They are moral hypocrites. ‘Depart from Me. I never knew you.’ And they never knew Him.

The law says if you sow good deeds you will reap blessing.  Grace says if you sow your old self into death you will reap the resurrection life and power of Christ. Thus, the Bible has redefined the meaning of sowing and reaping in the New Testament.”

The resurrection healing, wholeness, comes to those who are truly “crucified with Christ.” (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 4:10-12)

The LORD our Creator has designed/set things up so that we ourselves can only personally be fulfilled if and when we are walking in His perfect will and meeting the needs and desires of others.

It is the “mind of Christ” to give our lives over to the LORD Jesus and others. This disposition runs counter to all the self-centered notions and philosophies taught among sinful men, including the recovery-addicted false church world.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:3-5

The above passage is a great one to read every morning this whole week. If you do so in sincere prayer to the LORD, your life will never be the same.

We cannot and will not be fulfilled by worldly riches or pursuits but only by obeying God and fulfilling the needs of others

“But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:6-8

The LORD requires that all who will follow Him (and go to Heaven), must lay aside their own will. Jesus cried “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”(Luke 22:42) The daily cross is some Jesus mandates and all who truly know and are following Him are learning that daily cross by simple submitted obedience and the enablement of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:12-14).

True repentance means laying our lives down at His feet and being dead to self which means we have NO personal agenda! (Romans 6)

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” John 5:30

Regrettably, most who claim to be saved have not the slightest desire or clue as to what truly following Christ really is. This is because they are trusting what their pastor has told them instead of searching the Holy Scriptures to see what the Judge of their eternal souls says.

“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

Today, write Philippians 2:3-5 on an index card and begin to read it daily, to meditate upon it, and assimilate into your mind, thoughts, actions, and life.

Your life is going to change now. God is going to begin undergirding your thoughts and life, orchestrating His perfect will as He conforms you to the image of Jesus Christ.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28-29

Get out of your own world disciple of Jesus. Embark on this cross journey. You are Jesus’ servant and student. Look around you. Anticipate the needs and legitimate desires of your mate, your children, your family, your friends, and those you don’t yet know. If you will help with the business of others, God will take care of yours.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Crying out with John the Baptist….

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 

Jesus came and empty Himself (Philippians 2). The Son of God withheld nothing. Christ gave all. He poured out His whole heart and life to please His Father and to bless fallen mankind (Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Acts 3:26). God bankrupted Heaven to redeem us.

The measure of your spiritual maturity and state can clearly be seen in how you are given over with reckless abandon to the LORD and to serving others.

Why would God raise up someone who is already alive, alive to self, in self? He will not. It takes the cross to liquidate the old man – a laying down of our own lives, our will, our agenda, our way. God only raises up, resurrects those who are willingly dead and buried with Christ. Those live in the dead and buried posture, are being raised up in the power of God, blessed, and mightily used of Him! There is no other way for us – just as there was no other way for Jesus to redeem the world without the cross and buried. He defeated sin, Satan, and death by dying and being raised up! (Romans 8:11; Hebrews 2:14-15, etc.).

Here’s the “remnant” of Christ described:

“And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward: 32 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.” Isaiah 37:31-32

Note in the passage above that the remnant escaped from that which claims to represent the LORD while subverting His truth – “enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18-19) God is calling out His remnant to lay down our lives and in doing so there will be a separation, a coming out of the cross-less apostate modern church world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). If it’s a cross-less gospel, it’s a false gospel. The redemptive cross of Christ and the one He commanded we take up, are at the center of the original Gospel message. This is how we know who is true and false.

Being Jesus’ Disciple

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33 

Jesus instructed us to “Remember Lot’s wife.” Genesis 19 records the escape from Sodom, from divine judgment upon the inhabitants. As she was obeying the command of the angels not to look back, while she was escaping judgment, Lot’s wife looked back and perished. She was judged with the wicked and make no mistake, this is exactly was our LORD wants us to “remember.” Many today, like Lot’s wife, were saved and yet then they turned back to the old, to the evil, to the fires of eternal judgment that were once behind them. Now they face those same fires of damnation and the torment will be even “worse with them than the beginning.” (2 Peter 2:20-22) They’ve turned back to what they were delivered from and are perishing.

“Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” Luke 17:32-33 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus’ name and ask You to forgive me for my self-idolatry, my heart rebellion, my uncleanness, and ever other sin I’ve committed against You. LORD, I know You are holy and ask You to make me holy as You are holy. Please set me apart unto Yourself and grace a broken, contrite heart of flesh. Here and now I lay my life in Your hands. I am crucified with Christ. I am dead and my life is hid with Christ in God. Thank You this moment Jesus for washing me clean of all sin in Your precious blood LORD Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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