Littleness: Do Not Think Too Highly Of Self


The Lion Loosed

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)


The Lesson Learned

In our world today we seem to be great strangers to the denial of self and the cross, Amen?  
Following in Jesus’ footsteps in the here and now seems difficult at best - if not impossible. We cling to His salvation but suffering and sacrifice, well…not so much. We want what we want when we want it, right? We live in a society that makes much of self – in lieu of denying self. Besides that, the thought of denial of self is not accompanied by that warm and fuzzy feeling we all seem to long for. Indeed, our world has a deafening cry of lauding self, much less denying it. Pride naturally runs in our veins and it is nourished by our ease and our prosperity. Yet, surprisingly, Scripture reminds us that it has always been that way. The Apostle John’s exhortation in 1 John 2:15-17 (NIV) come to mind: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 
God tells us we are to invest in the eternal and not in the temporal. And what we do now matters eternally and matters greatly. Further, denial of self is the proper pathway of taking hold of the life that is truly life. We do ourselves a great disservice when we do not follow God’s ways – seeking our own will over His. God tells us in Scripture that it is His to exalt and it is ours to humble. We see in 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV): “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” The same mighty Hand that allowed our abasement will be the very One to lift us up. We are responsible to humble ourselves and God is the One who exalts. Contrary to public opinion, we are not in control. Never have been. God does not answer to us – it is He that is on the throne – not we. Further, He knows and desires what is best for us – and it is not in our being in charge or making much of self. Selfish ambitions, vain conceits and sinful ways have severely stained self. True discipleship means to empty self of self and to follow hard after the Master wherever He leads. And in so doing we are truly blessed. One never outgives God. Any meager sacrifice we may make for His glory will eventually be more than compensated - making it not seem sacrificial at all. Want what He wants – His ways are best for every heir of mercy. 

Heart Savor

The Lion Roars

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5 (NIV)

  • We are never to be lacking in zeal but keep our spiritual fervor serving the Lord.
  • We are to be zealous for the Lord’s great Name – through His power for His glory.
  • Create in me a pure heart and a steadfast spirit Oh Lord.