I think it is important to understand why we should be willing to lay down our lives, the purpose and reason. Why does God want us to be willing to die to our self life, what is really at stake? Let us lay aside all the controversy over theology and what we each think is right and wrong through our own human perceptions and lenses of experience and look at the plain word of God. Jesus is perfect theology. Can anyone deny that Jesus asks each one of us to lay down our lives? The problem is, what does that look like to each one of us?
All I care about is are we willing to pursue God with a whole heart or not. When I look at the condition of my own soul, the condition of my own family, the condition of the world and the condition of the church, my heart just sinks. I realize my need to be broken by God, to have His heart for these things. I realize that I am not broken over these things in the way God is. The lost souls! The sex slaves! Wars! The human suffering! Poverty! Etc etc etc!
I don’t think we have to look any further than Jesus, and to what He said and taught, to understand God’s standard for living and the purpose we are here for. He set the standard and example for us and stated in John 17:15-18 that ” just as You sent Me into world, I also have sent them into the world. What did Jesus send His disciples into the world to do? ( that’s you and me folks). After we each answer that very personal question then the next question is, how are we going to fulfill our God given purpose and destiny on this earth, unless we have developed a very personal, one and one relationship with Holy Spirit? Without this developed intimacy, is what we are doing, really what God has asked us to do, or are we just trapped in religion?
When we take a close look at our own spiritual condition and the spiritual condition of the things mentioned above, how can we each make a real difference, impacting these things with true spiritual power, if we have no real spiritual power? How can we have true spiritual power, like Jesus has, if we don’t know Him? How can we conquer the enemy of our souls, for ourselves and others and subdue nations for His Kingdom when we ourselves are not dead? How can we enter into His Kingdom if we are not known by Jesus? Is it true, as long as I am saved, I get to enter into His Kingdom? What did Jesus say?
Can we really afford to run from these burning questions? Jesus set a real example for dying and living for each one of us. To know and understand your purpose we only need to look at Him. If our motivation is to obey Jesus because we love Him, should we not understand why He commands us to lay down our lives? First, if we do not die as a kernel of wheat, we can bear no fruit and honor the Father.(John 12:24),(John 15). Second, if we do not “abide” in Him, we can do “nothing”. Third, if we do not do His will on earth, we cannot enter into His Kingdom. Matthew 7:21. Therefore, I think it is important to know what His will is, know what it means to die as a kernel of wheat and what it means to abide in Him. Jesus said if we did not forsake all that we have, we cannot be His disciple. Luke 14:33. What does that mean?
We are living in very perilous times. (2nd Tim 3:1-17) Perilous= (harsh, fierce, savage, hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous, hard to do, to take, to approach). Timothy describes the world we live in and then says, “
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Our hearts are that everyone be prepared, being perfect and thoroughly equipped to do the will of God in the hour we are living in, the end of this church age, and to qualify to move on into the Millennial Kingdom age and rule and reign with Christ.
So we want to encourage each one of you to find out for yourself, study to show yourself approved, and to pursue God with a pure and whole heart, to find out, to hear for yourselves, to understand the season and times we are in, so we can truly be more than a conqueror. Love Mark and Catherine