Pastors According To His Heart

Devotional Thoughts

Only A Surrendered Life. pt. 2, 3, 4

Posted by pathhministry on October 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM

 

DATE:

Tuesday October 5, 2010


HEADING:

Only A Surrendered Life fulfills God’s Purpose (2)


TEXT (Judges 16:30)

Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. (NIV)

He killed more people in his death than he had killed in his life. (Msg)

So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime. (NLT)


COMMENTARY


Sampson was born for greatness. Before he was born, the angel decreed that he would begin the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines (Judges 13:5). But most of his life was lived to please himself. He wanted a girl from among the Philistines and he went and got her. He was hungry so he ate honey from the carcass of a dead lion, something forbidden for him as a Nazirite. He lied, he was arrogant, and he allowed his passion and his anger to continually get the better of him.

And yet, God’s Spirit remained active in his life for over most of his life. His great gift accomplished much, but none of it was used in the way that God intended. Sadly, as a spiritual man, Samson was self-centred, self serving and on the path of destruction. Indeed, he ended up a prisoner of the very people he was supposed to defeat.


Ironically, it took his deliberate decision to die to bring about what God intended in his life in the first place. The word of purpose prophesied before his birth could only be fulfilled in his dying to himself. Our gifts, our purpose, our calling - nothing matters so much as our willingness to surrender our lives to what God has declared concerning us.

Something to Meditate on:


When I deliberately fight to live life my way and refuse to die, I delay the fulfilment of the purpose of God in my life


A decision I need to make

How comfortable am I know that I am gifted, called, empowered and yet I am not fully surrendered to what God has spoken over me?


 

DATE:

Wednesday October 6, 2010

HEADING:


Only A Surrendered Life fulfills God’s Purpose (3)


TEXT (Rom. 15:3)

For even Christ did not please himself … (NIV)

For Christ did not please Himself [gave no thought to His own interests]; … (Amp. Bible)

For even Christ didn’t live to please himself…. (NLT)


COMMENTARY

Sometimes, some of the things that our faith challenges us about, can be very disconcerting. We are not to live to pleased ourselves! We are not to live looking out for our self interests. We are not to live with ourselves in view. And yet, this notion of happiness, self-pleasure bathes so much of our experiences.


We hear comments like, ‘no one can make you happy but you ’or ‘you have to take responsibility for your own happiness.’ Happiness means so much to us. And yet the purpose of our lives from the eternal point of view is that we might be like Jesus (Romans 8:29), not to pursue happiness. He gives happiness (blessedness, joy, completeness) as a gift to those who seek Him, to those who purpose to be like Him.


Wanting to be like Him requires vulnerability to Him and to His will. Not pleasing ourselves, especially when we feel particularly vulnerable may be difficult. For instance on the matter of forgiveness Martha Kilpatrick writes – ‘Forgiveness is . . . accepting God's sovereign use of people and situations to strip you of self importance, and humiliate your self love.’ And it is this humiliating of the self-love, this destroying of the self which paves the way for the Christ-life to flow in and through us.

 


Something to Meditate on:

When I live my life trying to please myself, I damage the image of Christ in me.


A decision I need to make


Am I totally vulnerable to Jesus? Honestly?






HEADING:

Only A Surrendered Life fulfills God’s Purpose


TEXT (Gal.2:20)

I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (NIV)

It is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me… (Amp. Bible)

It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (NLT)


COMMENTARY

Have you ever really stop to think how much of your life lived out each day is really the life of Christ in you? In any given day, can you really say that the decisions you made, the attitude you displayed, the actions you performed, the mindset you carried, were not as Jesus would do, but all of these were in fact flowing out of the Christ-life in you?


Paul spoke confidently of this. “I have been crucified with Christ,” he says. In verse 19 of the same text he says – ‘So I died to the Law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.’ Even his good deeds were given up! He was not living a ‘what would Jesus do?’ kind of life in which he was still in charge. There were no such questions for him. He simply allowed himself to be crucified and that was it.


Paul was saying in effect, ‘to look at my life is to look at the life of Christ.’ The same is undoubtedly available to us. Our faith truly comes alive not by asking what Jesus would do, but rather dying that He might live out His life in us.


Something to Meditate on:

There is a subtle danger in asking ‘what would Jesus do?’ rather than dying so that He can do exactly what He wants in me.


A decision I need to make

Is my ‘what would Jesus do?’ wristband not an admission that I am still in charge?


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