The culture might change, but people and God remain the same.
Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
- He that comes upon, hits upon, and holds on to his own selfish life for his selfish gain, shall bring himself to ruin, destruction, uselessness and misery through his corrupted self. He that ruins, destroys, and wastes away his sinful existence for the sake of the Lord shall discover, recognize, acquire and real life from the Lord for himself.
Matthew 16:24 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.
Matthew 26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
- We see that Jesus commands His disciples to “Follow Him” in the above scripture. This is defined as a union in traveling the same road. It is an oneness with the pattern of Jesus’ life, His ministry, and even of His death, if necessary.
- Look at the illustration of Peter’s denial of Jesus in comparison to Jesus’ command to deny ourselves. As you will notice, it is exactly the same word! Can you imagine how vehemently Peter with every fiber and atom in his body angrily disavowed that he knew, or had any relationship with the Master? This should be our same attitude in denying ourselves for the sake of our Lord?
Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send (apostolic sending) my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
- Which shall prepare: Literally who will lay down all the needed gear, utensils and equipment at another’s disposal.”
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
- First John two and fifteen is an example of what I call a “proportional scripture.” In other words, to the proportion that the love for the things of this world fills the limited space of our heart, is to the same proportion that the love of God has no more room within that limited space, and must leave.
1Cor 9:24 Know ye not that they which run (to run and spend my strength in attaining to something) in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.(to possess and make my own).
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery (the agony of athletic competition) is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
- Our Christian lives should abide in the exhilarating agony of strenuous athletic discipline. If we are experiencing boredom as believers, we are missing out on part of Christ’s destiny for us. Every great work of God has been executed on bended knees. Every great work of God takes between one to five hours of prayer daily
26 therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
- Our faith must contain a clear perception of God’s vision for our lives. “Without a vision the people perish.” We must not walk obscurely, as those who do not know the voice of God. We must not trash the air aimlessly with those things that Christ has not called us to, no matter how noble or praiseworthy they might be. Our time must not be wasted by the missed discernment of God’s will; too much is at stake! Our punch must be sure; we must strike straight and not spare.
27 But I keep under my body (To beat the body black and blue, or get a black eye), and bring it into subjection(make my body a slave to the Spirit of God) lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (a reject , reprobate, and one who failed the test that God put before them.)
- The love of God and the love of the world are opposed to each other. Either you love one or love the other. What the world values, Christ abhors. What the worldly man esteems as of great value Christ says, “get the behind me Satan!”
1Cor15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured (To labor with strenuous zeal, to the point of exhaustion) more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
- “Spiritual burn out” is always inadmissible. It is the product of all labors for the Lord initiated by us, and not the Holy Spirit. Yet our lives should be consumed with the Lord and His work.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
- Therefore I neglect and no longer care for what is behind me. I stretch myself out and towards, and run swiftly after what is before me. The direction being, the mark of the goal of the high price of unbroken fellowship of Christ’s resurrection life, and the hope of His calling for me.
1 Tim 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
- Greek: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who endued me with His power (only as He found me dependable.) The gift of His power was given to me as He found me worthy of trust. Once that the trust and power were there God placed me into my ministry.
1 Tim 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
- Greek: Do not become careless about the spiritual gift, which was given to you by (the Holy Spirit) through prophecy and the laying of hands.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
- Meditate- Care for, attend to, and keep practicing “the things that we have discussed”
- Give thyself wholly to them – Literally “to become one with them”.
- Paul tell us throw ourselves fully, or become submerged and consumed with the things that lead to godliness, purity, charity, spiritual gifts, and so forth.
- That thy profiting Literally “pioneers cutting a way for an army”
- Every Christian is called to a blaze a new pioneer trail, through which the Lord can effectively travel, in accordance with their unique calling. There are now pew sitters, and no room for mediocrity in God’s kingdom.
- May appear to all – Will become evident to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
- Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine Fasten your attentions to, observe, and attend to yourself first, and to your doctrine second. This doctrine is what you teach. It must be in accordance with the truth of the scriptures and your life must line up with it.
Continue in them – Be sure to remain in these things!