Living life on the edge
DEVOTIONAL for Tuesday 28th March 2017
The great reformer Martin Luther once wrote: “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all, but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” It is natural for us to want to hold onto what we have. It is Christ-like for us to release what we have to God. Our natural mind seeks the security of position and possession and shrinks back from sacrificial living. It positions self in first place and demands its needs be met ahead of all. This positioning of self, causes our natural mind to be at war with the Spirit of God within us, who yearns for us to be conformed to the image of Christ. The war rages within, for the Spirit is determined that Christ should be formed within us and selfishness destroyed.
Sacrificial living is the open manifestation of the Christ-Life. It is evidence that the Spirit has gained full control. It’s not just about giving, though may include that, it is a lifestyle, empowered by the Spirit, which chooses the will of the Father above its own desires and the betterment of others above itself.
Embrace this attitude
Paul tells us in Phil 2:5-11, to … “have this attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus”. He is talking about the cross and Jesus’ approach to it. Though He was God, he sacrificed His position for Love. He sacrificed His life for those who were lost. He paid the ultimate price, made the ultimate sacrifice.
How did He do this? Here’s the answer – Hebrews 12:2 … “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. Jesus refused to consider the cost or consider what people thought about Him – He sacrificed with His eyes firmly on the prize – us! We were the joy, the prize. By faith He saw us – redeemed, free, delivered – He let the joy of that picture fill His heart – this made the pain of sacrifice wholly worthwhile. That’s the key to a sacrificial life – keeping your eyes fixed on why you’re doing it.
We are told to “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus” Heb 12:2. Jesus tells us to daily take up our cross, to sacrifice. How do we do it with joy? Just like Jesus – by keeping our eyes fixed on the prize. The result – well, read it for yourself in the continuation of Phil 2 …… For this reason, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, He will lift us up so that we can enjoy the victory that is in Christ Jesus.