Tuesday 31 March 2015

Godliness with contentment is great gain ... Part 2.

In thinking about my previous blog post on "Godliness with contentment is great gain", a further thought has come to me. This is something that is crucial to biblical contentment and yet it is far too little spoken of. It is the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 9:23-24.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it".

Here are several aspects of Christian discipleship which we must consider, meditate upon and pray about.

1. "Deny himself": As Jesus prayed "Not my will be yours be done"; is that how you pray and seek to live as a Christian?

2. "Let him take up his cross daily". The cross is the place of death, it is the place where your will and God's will meet. Taking up our cross is the opposite of the world's message and sometimes the message in the church. Jesus did not come to offer flowery beds of ease and worldly pursuits.

3. "And follow me". Christ centred living is more than reading books about Christ, it is being truly obedient to him as revealed in the Word of God and when you have a sense that the Lord maybe leading you, it is to seek counsel from godly elders who will instruct you in the truth.

4. Refusing to save your life, but instead losing it. This takes faith to be what Kenneth MacRae described of the apostle Paul, to be an "out and out man". This is what all Christians should be, 100% committed to the Lord, within the limits of their station in life.

Godliness and also true biblical contentment cannot be found without the true application of taking up our cross daily, denying ourselves and following the Lord. To pursue contentment on its own, could become if we are not careful, a selfish desire to pursue personal "happiness" but only with a thin Christian veneer. Such an approach to life will not provide lasting spiritual satisfaction, neither will it please the Lord.

We want to pursue pathways in life that rightly honour the Lord, but those paths are narrow, their ways are difficult, but they lead to life (Matthew 7:13-14).

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