Dear brothers and sisters, Today, I would like to speak to you about self.
Many of you hear about this topic more often than you should and the message you hear on this topic is along the lines of “10 ways to become a better you” “what is your purpose here on earth” “what is amazing about you” “why you are so unique” “life is about bettering yourself” “5 steps on getting to know who you are” Sound familiar? Today the message is about denying self, those who don’t feel they need the change, I encourage you to read this message, it may surprise you. Brothers and sisters, let’s take a look at the meaning of self-denial:
Self-denial: the denial of one's own interests and needs; self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice, selflessness, unselfishness.
Now that we have that covered, let’s see what the Bible says about this topic:
Self-denial Biblical definition: Matthew 16:24 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
See, I realized over time that self is a topic in various ways, self is in everything that you and I do, it almost seems impossible to avoid, and it’s naturally built in the flesh. However, there is a way out, and God revealed this truth to us in His own words, Matthew 16:24-26 “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
The world has taken great influence over the lost including the saved children of God in today’s times, so much that people have made their own twisted gospel and live by their own gospel because it works better for self. This morning I listened to a sermon on prayer and when I read the word for confirmation on the sermon, I read some of the prayers the apostles wrote, I then searched for more prayers written in the Bible and came across the prayers of Jesus and found such a wonderful message and confirmation on today’s topic. All the prayers have one thing in common, they all prayed for the will of God. When last did you pray for something or someone and asked that God’s will be done?
We have become so wrapped up in self and the gospel the world has created that God’s will has lost importance in our spiritual lives. We have lost sight of God’s vision!!! See prayer has become a crutch to society, when times are tough prayer is good enough, when things don’t go our way, we run to prayer, when something or someone is at stake, we run to prayer. What happened to the times when prayer was to spend time with God in His wonderful presence, what happened to the times when prayer was far more precious to just exalt Him than being anywhere else, what happened praying in desperation seeking God’s will for your life and not asking anything of our own will?
Someone told me last week that he was attending a church that was not really on the straight and narrow but that the messages are at least positive now and then. Psalm 119:176 “I have gone astray like a lost sheep.” This is what people have turned to, a church with a watered down gospel but at least it has a positive message? Are you one of those people? I have walked in to churches and within the first few moments, I walked out, I don’t do it to break a church down, I don’t do it because I judge a church but I am simply NOT going to sit through a compromised, watered down gospel!!! Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” God is not a joke, He is real friends!! We have allowed ourselves to be so side tracked by all these worldly desires, we have lost sight of one of the most important scriptures, 1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.”
Brothers and sisters, forget about making your entire focus on getting that ripped body, forget about that exotic car, forget about that Louis Vuitton handbag, huge diamond ring, let go of these worldly desires and seek the will of God!!! These things are temporary, it’s a distraction, it not going to take you deeper with Jesus, and it’s holding you back!!! “Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have” Billy Graham. God knows your every need, He has never failed you. A powerful word I once heard was, “if you have been saved, but you have not decreased so that Christ could increase in your life, maybe all you have had was an emotional experience.” Isn’t that a scary thought, the thought give me a shiver down my spine!!! Don’t waste time, pick up your cross and follow Jesus!! Amen
Matthew 6:24“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Matthew 6:6-8“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then you’re Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Paul wrote to Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:6-9”But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”
Brothers and sisters, we are in a time where we have to discern carefully, we are in a time where we cannot chance a wakeup call. Start reading your word, spend time with the Lord in prayer, open your eyes, the word was not written for your selfish needs, the word was and is today for the glory of God, the word was and is for the will of God, it’s written to guide us, encourage us on our ministry, to teach us and to bring us closer to the Lord’s heart.
Pray with me brothers and sisters and let’s start getting back to the uncompromised and watered down gospel.
"Father God, we want to thank you for this powerful word, Lord we exalt you this morning, we give You praise Father God, we give all honour and glory to Your name!!! Lord this morning, we want to make a change in our lives, Lord we want to get back to the roots of Your word, we want to seek Your face, abide in You and put our desires in Your will and Your will only Lord. Lord we want to submit our flesh to You, reveal to us what it is that does not belong Lord, Father God You are far more worthy than anything our flesh holds onto, open our eyes to that which does not belong and remove it from our lives in the Name of Jesus!!! Father God, guide us to Your will, use us Father God, mold us according to Your will, let us never be the same again. Lord forgive us for losing sight, forgive us for taking word in, in a selfish way, and give unto us a new heart Lord. We pray that You break our hearts for what breaks Yours so that we may turn from that which is not Your will. Give us the strength to be consistent in our walk with You Lord. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen"
James 4:1 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”
Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
Romans 12:1”Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”