LOSE YOUR LIFE

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Mark 8:34-35 NKJV

 

ACTION WORDS

Desire Jesus, deny self, take up cross, follow Jesus.

deny-self

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THE GIFT

 

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
II Corinthians 9:15 NKJV

 

ACTION / KEY WORDS

Thanks – appreciative, From chairo; graciousness, of manner or act.

Indescribable – too wonderful for words, unspeakable

Gift – A (free) gift, a gift (without repayment). From doron; a gratuity.

jesus gift of salvation

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

 

Romans 5:15
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many!

2 Corinthians 9:14
And their prayers for you will express their affection for you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.

 

Acts 10:45

The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.

 

SELECT COMMENTARY

 

M Henry:

Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds.

 

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

 

‘Oh what a Savior, oh what a divine, that would save a soul, such as mine.’ some hymn that I sure love.

 

After the fall of man, we were all doomed after our physical life passes. No hope of an eternity of wonder or bliss. But then, at the right time Jesus appeared and gave us all the gift of salvation. When I right all, I am mean all you have the opportunity. Since you are reading this, that includes YOU. All is all. If you haven’t been born during this time span God has made or aren’t reading this, that may not be you. Otherwise, it is YOU.

 

Being that in John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” it says EVERYONE and that is a cause for celebration! Hallelujah! What a precious gift! Its value and meaning can only be partially conjured by us mere mortals. It is glorious, wonderful and divine!

 

But, yes, unfortunately, there is a but, not everyone realizes and accepts this gift of God. Jesus describes it The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-15)

1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat down, while all the people stood on the shore.

3And He told them many things in parables, saying, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.

5Some fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun rose, the seedlings were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

7Other seeds fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the seedlings.

8Still other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop—a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold.

9He who has ears,a let him hear.”

 

Perhaps in this context, one could relate, ‘he that can see his gift better open it before its too late’ and then ‘he that has his gift should not ignore, trash, or waste it but rather love and cherish it because it didn’t come cheap’.

 

If you can’t see this gift, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Its mean that you are hindered. Check these words Christ said in Mathew 6,

 

The Lamp of the Body
22The eye is the lamp of the body. If your vision is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your vision is poor, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

 

Yes, the world can be hard and dark. That isn’t our fault per se as we were born into sin but it is our predicament for sure. Thus pray for a candle, a light bright enough to see the gift. Like Christ said, ‘seek and you will find’.

 

I have been thinking about this analogy for a few weeks which pair nicely with this verse. Though imperfect, perhaps it will be of some benefit.

 

Lifetime gym fitness analogy

God has bought us a lifetime membership at the greatest gym in the world with locations all over the place. Being our goal is to be in shape and fit, this is the only place to be. Great trainers, the best equipment, free membership, etc…the ultimate!

genesis

But just knowing it’s there isn’t enough. We have to go. Go and work out. Then, and only then, we are using our gift. Now some people, just go and sit there in the gym. They don’t even break a sweat. Well, that is better than nothing. It’s a start but dare not stay relaxing too long because of it a waste.

Some go and burn it up. That’s great, they are regulars. They are taking advantage of the membership.

 

And some go work out and then volunteer to help others, encourage their friends and maybe even get a job at the gym.  That’s fantastic!

 

But many, too many people, they just stay home or stay too busy and miss it. That is what the devil wants the most; for us to squander our membership.

 

Upon researching this topic, I came across this video series on the Gift of salvation. If you are curious, these teaching are a good to explore: https://vimeo.com/channels/gos/56764795

 

KIRK’S PRAYER

 

LORD, Your gift is simple yet too awesome for our full understanding. Help me to never take it for granted. Help me to make the most of it. Thank YOU to infinity and beyond.

FAITH IS

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT

KEY / ACTION  WORDS

Confidence in hope

Assurance of the invisible

Faith (belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness)

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

 

Romans 8:24
For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see?

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 3:6
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are His house, if we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope of which we boast.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Hebrews 11:27
By faith Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.

 

SELECT COMMENTARY

 

Elliot:

It has been debated whether that which follows is a definition of what faith is, or in reality a description of what faith does. It is not a complete definition, in the sense of including all the moments of thought which are present in the word as used in the last chapter (Hebrews 11:38) or in this. The “things hoped for” are not mere figments of the imagination; their basis is the word of God. If we keep this in mind, the words, still remaining general in their form, agree with all that has led up to them and with all that follows; and whether they be called definition or description will be of little consequence.

 

To adopt Dr. Vaughan’s clear explanation, “Faith is that principle, that exercise of mind and soul, which has for its object things not seen but hoped for, and which, instead of sinking under them as too ponderous, whether from their difficulty or from their uncertainty, stands firm under them–supports and sustains their pressure–in other words, is assured of, confides in and relies on them.”

 

Thus “every genuine act of faith is the act of the whole man, not of his understanding alone, not of his affections alone, not of his will alone, but of all three in their central, aboriginal unity.” And thus faith becomes “the faculty in man through which the spiritual world exercises its sway over him, and thereby enables him to overcome the world of sin and death.” (Hare, Victory of Faith.)

 

Matthew Henry Commentary
11:1-3 Faith always has been the mark of God’s servants, from the beginning of the world. Where the principle is planted by the regenerating Spirit of God, it will cause the truth to be received, concerning justification by the sufferings and merits of Christ. And the same things that are the object of our hope, are the object of our faith. It is a firm persuasion and expectation, that God will perform all he has promised to us in Christ. This persuasion gives the soul to enjoy those things now; it gives them a subsistence or reality in the soul, by the first-fruits and foretastes of them. Faith proves to the mind, the reality of things that cannot be seen by the bodily eye. It is a full approval of all God has revealed, as holy, just, and good. This view of faith is explained by many examples of persons in former times, who obtained a good report, or an honourable character in the word of God. Faith was the principle of their holy obedience, remarkable services, and patient sufferings. The Bible gives the most true and exact account of the origin of all things, and we are to believe it, and not to wrest the Scripture account of the creation, because it does not suit with the differing fancies of men. All that we see of the works of creation, were brought into being by the command of God.

 

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

Saving faith is one of those things that is hard to explain exactly but you know it if you have it.  It is isn’t concrete yet its very real. It is not tangible but undergirds salvation.

 

Faith is.

 

Faith is hope believed.

 

Faith is only as good as what is behind it.

 

Hope floats, faith sustains and drives.

 

Faith is our shield from the enemies attack.

 

At a conference yesterday, a passionate Christian actor, director and producer, Kevin Sorbo, told this short story which exemplifies the concept of faith and God. It goes like this: ‘Some people don’t believe in God because you can not see Him. You can’t touch Him. He is invisible. Therefore He most not exist. Let me ask you this. Can you see your brain? Can you touch it?’

 

So yes, we can with machines that scan our brains and see it. Such is similar with the mechanism of faith.

 

BRIEF PRAYER

LORD almighty, thank You for making faith possible. It is the means for our connection to You and salvation by You. Help me to retain it and boster those you need it.

 

Faith-is-the-confidence-that-what-we-hope-for-will-actually-happen-it-gives-us

CLEANSE YOURSELF

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. II Corinthians 7:1 NKJV

ACTION WORDS

Having these promises

Cleanse ourselves  (To cleanse, make clean, literally, ceremonially, or spiritually, according to context. From katharos; to cleanse)

Perfecting  (complete, cultivate) holiness in fear  (reverence, respect)

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