The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/16/2009

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One Step Nearer To God


"And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and then to us in keeping with God's will" (2 Cor. 8:5)

Popeye the sailor of cartoon lore had a credo. Those of us old enough to remember know it. He said, "I am what I am and that's all that I am." This may be the mantra of many people today. One of the standard excuses for one's actions is simply, "that's just the way I am." We know however that in order to enjoy life, and especially enjoy good relationships, that we need to adjust. I am acting this way because its the way I am just doesn't cut it!

How then do we enter into a relationship with God. Will the Popeye philosophy work? Here's what Jesus said to His disciples. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24). If we are to get close to Jesus, a part of us needs to be willing to make a drastic change. We need to "step out of ourselves." In his letter to the Colossians, Paul put it this way; "Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and put on a new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (3: 9 & 10). The disciples were asked to forsake everything to follow Him.

The person who steps out of self puts his trust in a higher power. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight" (Prov. 3:5 & 6). The person who steps out of self will no longer look to self. "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for a man to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). One who steps out of self is humble and does not wish to glorify himself. "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). Our good deeds ought to be a reflection of our willingness to give God all the glory and not self.

Finally, the person who steps out of self does not have to seek for his own welfare. Jesus says to seek His kingdom first "and all these things will be given to you as well." When the disciples made that bold step in following Jesus, it did not change who they were but what they were. It is the same for us...

Have a great day....How about a RAK today? Love mark Phil. 4:11

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