Death to Self

You Can’t Love Everyone

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Matthew 22:37-39 To wrap up our discussion on agape love and death to self, I want to encourage you with one final thought: it’s not your job to love everyone! I can almost hear some of you gasp as I write this, but it’s important to know and understand that Jesus never said to go out and love the entire world. Why? Because that’s impossible for us as humans; we are not God and therefore we can’t conceivably love everyone. We can, however, love everyone who’s near us, and that’s what we should do. It’s the Lord’s job to love the world and it’s your job to love your neighbor.

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Death to Self

“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?’” – Luke 9:23-25 Over the past few days, we’ve learned a lot about agape love, so today, I want to talk more about the flip side of that wonderful gift, which is death to self.  No good thing in this life comes without sacrifice, and the most divine and precious gifts of God can only be experienced as we make a choice to deny ourselves. In fact, this theme is echoed over and over again in the New Testament, both in the teachings of Jesus and in

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What Motivates Love?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 For the past week, we’ve been talking a lot about types and characteristics of faith, which is the first element in what I call “the triangle of sufficiency.” In other words, there are three things that you and I need to live in the fullness of the Kingdom of God — faith, death to self, and agape love. For the next couple of days, we’re going to look at the last two, death to self and agape love, in more detail because they go together. Have you ever been annoyed by someone trying to help you or wounded by someone attempting to love you? If you’re like me,

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Expand your World

“I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” – Psalm 50:9,10 Yesterday we talked about how we as human beings are minds above all else and we discussed how the way we think about God has the power to totally transform us and the world around us. Today, I want to talk about another aspect of our thinking that can either empower or stifle us — how we think about ourselves.  I believe that self-obsession is the major problem in the world today. Now, I want to be careful here because I’m not talking about a kind of overly-pious religiosity that says that I shouldn’t have a self at all — I fully believe in self care. However, I am convinced that death to self, although it

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Death to Self

“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? ‘” – Luke 9:23-25 Over the past few days, we’ve learned a lot about agape love, so today, I want to talk more about the flip side of that wonderful gift, which is death to self. No good thing in this life comes without sacrifice, and the most divine and precious gifts of God can only be experienced when we make a choice to deny ourselves. In fact, this theme is echoed over and over again in the New Testament, both in the teachings of Jesus and

Read More »

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