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Lose Your Life to Find Your Life

"Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it."

Matthew 16:24-25 DRB

Esteem Christ

"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ"

Phil 3:7-8 ESV

Forsake Your Way

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world."

1 John 2:15-16 ESV

Hate the World

"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

James 4:3-4 KJV

Embrace the Word


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Embrace the Bible

The Bible is the most important possession in a Christian's life. Inside its pages are contained the Spirit and Life of Jesus Christ. By it all things are known regarding the Gospel. By it faith comes for believing and truth for sanctification. The day should begin and end with the Word of God with meditation in between. 

Embrace God

The Bible paints us a picture of Jesus Christ, who is the image and glory of God. It also gives clear instructions for seeking and worshiping Him. We must put the pursuit above all else in our lives. "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."

Jer 29:13 ESV

Embrace God's Will

The Bible explains two separate wills of God: His will for all of His children and His will for each child individually. His will for all children is plainly spoken in the Word, but His will for us individually must come from Him to us through His Spirit. This happens when we set our minds on the things of God and put off the things of the world. Place the knowledge of God and His will for you on the highest mantle of your life and you will have what you seek.

Embrace the Wilderness

In almost every instance in scripture, there is a period of time between learning what God wills for your life and seeing it come to pass. If you seek God at all you certainly have an idea of what you will be doing in the future, but it will not happen automatically. There is always a time gap between the vision and the reality which will almost certainly be rough. Don't turn back and do not grumble; embrace it and watch the Lord do His miraculous work.

Forsake the World


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Forsake Secular Cinema

Secular movies and television series do not promote the things of God and are unprofitable for Godly edification.  Secular cinema produces in us the emotions and cares of the world. If you feel lonely, hopeless, depressed, lustful, prideful, or worried, it could be what you are watching. 

Forsake Secular Music

Secular music likely has an even more detrimental effect on the listener than the watcher of secular movies and TV. Even Christian music is depressing in many cases. Godly music will have you feeling blessed and offering praise to God. If you become sad or angry, maybe it's time to put the headphones down.

Forsake News and Politics

Nothing good is ever shown in news and there is no small division in the body caused by political involvement. We are not called to buy into to the world system and trust in its politics. These things cause anger, worry, and strife in the body and should be avoided. Quit spending your days listening to political radio and news; start listening to Gospel radio and audio teachings instead. 

Forsake Unbelievers

This is a tough one, especially if you came to Christ during adulthood. This means a large portion of your acquaintances are not siblings in Christ. These relationships are now toxic to your spiritual health. The Bible warns against being unequally yoked with unbelievers, and for good reason. "What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?"

2 Cor 6:15 ESV

The Wiles of the Devil

"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

Ephesians 6:11 KJV


We have an enemy who will stop at nothing to keep us from seeing God's will come to pass. Fortunately, we also have a Father who has promised us that we have no need of worry. Nevertheless, Satan will use a multitude of devices to turn us back from the Lord. We must not give up.

Family

The first point of resistance is typically the family. It is possible that they are all on your level of love for God and will agree with you, but it's far more likely they will come out against the vision God has for you. They aren't evil if they are believers, but the wisdom of this world and cares of this world and selfishness of this world manifests itself against God. Unfortunately, this often includes blood family. Do not respond in anger, for they care for you, but understand that you have a choice to make; them or God: "But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."

Mark 6:4 KJV

Acquaintances

The second point of resistance is friends and coworkers. Again, not all will be at odds. However, most are not dedicated to the things of God, but the things of the world and will not hesitate to oppose your God-given vision. We see this with Jesus and Peter: "From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, 'Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.' But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”"

Matt 16:22-23 ESV

Circumstances

Probably the most extreme of the three, circumstances are the devil's most effective method for turning someone away from God. People may begin well, but when hard times comes they shrink back and forsake the way. We must not walk by sight, mindful of our surroundings, but rather by faith, knowing the outcome of our obedience; God working that which is meant for harm for good. We see allusions to this in scripture: "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed."

1 Pet 4:12-13 ESV

More Scripture Regarding Our Walk

The trek is long and treacherous, but worth it.

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Resist the Devil

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."

1 Peter 5:8-10 ESV

Put Away Sin

"Inasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries."

1 Peter 4:1-3 KJV

Humble Yourself

"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

1 Peter 5:6-8 ESV

Renew Your Mind

"I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God."

Romans 12:1-2 MKJV

Suffer Patiently

"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."

1 Peter 4:14-16 KJV

Do Good to all People

"Let love be without hypocrisy, shrinking from evil, cleaving to good; in brotherly love to one another, loving fervently, having led one another in honor. As to diligence, not slothful, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, steadfastly continuing in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, pursuing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse."

Romans 12:9-14 MKJV