DAILY LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE

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I don’t know about you, but the closer I get to JESUS, the less I think of myself and the more I want to serve others for HIS sake.  Our me first, self-absorbed, dishonest world makes me quite sad.  It seems as if no one makes eye contact much anymore either.  We always seem to be looking at our screens.  Actually it is quite refreshing when someone looks at you when speaking to you.  

If you study the life of JESUS you will come to the conclusion that HE was a good listener and after spending time with GOD in the early morning hours, HIS days were filled with putting others before HIMSELF.  So what type of Christian are you?  Are you self-centered and too busy with your own life or are you CHRIST-centered?  Because if you abide with HIM, then HE will show you that other people matter more than you…….yes as Rick Warren would say in “the Purpose Driven Life”………”It’s not about you.”  I dare you to look in the mirror and say that to yourself and mean it!

In my quest for learning how to surrender this year, the LORD has humbled me in ways I didn’t expect.  It’s happened in the small everyday things and I feel HIS hand gently on my shoulder telling me to wait, or to be patient, or to hold my tongue, or no, not now, or even, no you don’t have to be right……instead I try to submit my thoughts to HIM.  Surrender is so hard when everything around you screams: me first!

I have also learned that I am valuable to the LORD and that being humble means something different than what I previously thought: 

“BEING HUMBLE IS NOT THINKING LESS OF YOURSELF, IT’S THINKING OF YOURSELF LESS.” C.S.LEWIS

Wait…….what was that?  You might have to read that statement again to yourself.  I know I did!  

You can think of yourself as valuable in GOD’S eyes, you are precious to HIM and you can be HIS hands and feet here on this earth.  You have a purpose and you matter.  Actually, you matter more to GOD than to anyone else!  But don’t let any of that go to your head!  That doesn’t make you any better than anyone else, what it makes you is this:  FORGIVEN.

JESUS asks us to put others before ourselves, whether it be in our marriages, our friendships and even acquaintances……. our neighbors, our co-workers, the checkout person at the grocery store…….they all come before us. This is how we lay down our lives for HIM, because of HIM and because HE died for our sins.

We all are at different seasons in our lives; I am in a season where I can finally slow down and really be intentional about my living out each day for CHRIST.  Honestly, I regret deeply in my heart all the years I didn’t even put GOD first!  Putting others before myself is worth the payoff. CHRIST will say to us one day: “good and faithful servant.” When we put others before ourselves then we are bearing the good fruit that JESUS spoke about in JOHN:

“YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU AND APPOINTED YOU THAT YOU SHOULD GO AND BEAR FRUIT, AND THAT YOUR FRUIT SHOULD REMAIN.” JOHN 15:16

Who knows what laying down your life in small intentional and surrendered ways, could mean for those around you? You might not see the immediate effect, but when you lay down your life, it shouldn’t matter.  And after almost a year of learning to surrender, I would say this humbling of me came with a cost.  The true cost is this: less of me. The payoff is: more of GOD!

ARE YOU FULL OF SELF OR SELF-LESS?

May we all as HIS people, continually reexamine who we are and WHOSE we are.  If we are CHRIST-centered, then we will be other-centered, not self-centered.  If we are CHRIST-centered, then our thoughts, prayers and deeds will be other-centered.  We will not think less of ourselves, but we will think of ourselves less and others more. We will reach out with love and respect to those who cross our daily paths and we will remember HIS grace for us and share that with others abundantly. 

Let them see CHRIST in you today friends…….surrender and put someone first!

JAMES 3: 16-17 “FOR WHERE ENVY AND SELF-SEEKING EXIST, CONFUSION AND EVERY EVIL THING ARE THERE. BUT THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE IS FIRST PURE, THEN PEACEABLE, GENTLE, WILLING TO YIELD, FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS, WITHOUT PARTIALITY AND WITHOUT HYPOCRISY.”

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