Hi everyone, Rob here.
This week is a busy and perilous one. I have to travel to take a funeral for Kiley’s Nana and her family is largely non-Christian. I am praying for wisdom and protection as I seek to honour them but also be true to who I am in Jesus. Then I’m speaking at a men’s camp in the weekend. The last thing the enemy wants is for men to come alive in the power and life of Christ. For every attendee the armour must go on as we seek to guard our hearts in Jesus and experience all that he has for us this weekend. Below is an excerpt from a sermon I gave earlier this year. It is a reminder to me that for Christ to have his way through me this week I need to die to self. As we die to self Christ can come alive in us and work in and through us for the sake of others. This excerpt is about how Jesus is our mentor as we learn to die to ourselves for his sake.
Jesus is our model, he is our means and he is our mentor. By that I mean that he is our companion, our teacher and our guide. We are told that Christ lives in us by means of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who helps us to be holy, to live up to who we really are, to take our eyes off ourselves and to love God and to love neighbour, and most of all to trust God again. Trust is the biggest thing that got lost in the fall. Our lack of trust in God and his goodness is what leads us to arrange life, manage life in our own strength or more often, our own folly. Have a read of John 14:25-27. It is as we trust the Spirit of Jesus living in us that we lose fear and gain peace. It is as we offer our old self to the cross and take on the new life of the Spirit that we lose self-centredness and self-interest. We become filled with God’s love. We learn to see with his eyes and hear with his ears and live in a heart-to-heart relationship with our Father, just as Jesus did.
So we need to pray. Read. Reflect. Listen. Worship. Join community. Be open to him.
The irony is that as humanity has looked to self and not to God the less human we have become, the less like our true selves we have become. Sin corrupts and dehumanises and works against God’s creation. Sin hurts people, causes wounds and pain of the soul that only Jesus can fully heal. Sin is a death sentence. Sin is selfishness. We can’t give ourselves our true identity. Only our maker can do that. We can’t love ourselves or others when the love of God isn’t in us. We can’t unlock our own chains; the chains of a slavery to sin that the serpent had arranged for us with his promise of freedom.
Let us die. Let us die with Christ. Let our old selves, our selfish, sinful selves die on the cross with Jesus. Let us die to what was dead and causing death in us. Let us make confession; confessing that we identify with Christ’s death even as he identified with us sinners; while we were still sinners he died for us. Let us confess that in him we are forgiven and our old hearts of stone are dead with him and our new hearts of flesh are alive to God through him. Let us confess that our deepest longing is life in him; his life in us, his will being done through us, our holiness reflecting his glory to this fallen world. Let us confess that he is God, we are not and he is good. Let us confess that in him we are saved, we are free, free to love, free to worship, free to be the me we were meant to be – free from the need to prove ourselves, protect ourselves, honour ourselves and promote ourselves. Jesus come, Jesus have the glory, Jesus have your life flow through us and may we be holy and free and alive as we live for you, by you and through you. May we love in your name and make your love known to all.