Revisiting: Dying to Self - Part 2

I tend not to have two "revisits" in a row unless I am really having problems, but this post and yesterdays post go hand in hand.  I find that even while facing my challenges, I continue have experiences that also challenge my walk in Christ.  There are much needed words for me today.  I pray they can touch your heart as well.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
NIV

One thing I have noticed in my life is that God often, very often challenges me to practice what I preach.  I put the words out there and he says, "deni ... do you mean this?  You are saying it to others.  Have you mastered it yourself?  I believe that God tests us today, in the same way He tested the Israelites of old.  Am I a hearer of the word only?  Or am I a doer?  

The past 24 hours have brought tremendous challenges.  I look at them in light of the words from yesterday's devotion that I did not write but quoted.  Tis a high standard to live up to, but oh, how short I fall.  Praise God for the grace and mercy of God in Christ Jesus!  I have heard it said that mercy is defined as God not giving us what we deserve as sinners and that grace is defined as God giving us what we don't deserve.  

I return to those words I quoted  yesterday ...

"When you are forgotten, neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting or hurt with the oversight, but your heart is happy being counted worthy to suffer for Christ;

That is dying to self.

The natural me does not want to be ignored or forgotten.  I take it personally and it hurts.  I do not want to be this way, Lord ... but I am. I need your mercy and your grace.  

Father, Forgive me.

"When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence;  

That is dying to self.

Not be angry?  Not defend myself?  But ....  Then I realize how Our Lord, remained silent on His way to the cross and on the cross itself.  He was ridiculed, taunted, and derided.  He had the power to silence it all at a single word, but willingly chose not to do so.  I look in the mirror.  

Father ... forgive me.

"When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus did;  

That is dying to self.

Oh, how I am NOT doing this.  Not only do I not patiently bear disorders and annoyances, I openly let the world know how unfair it can be.  How do I respond to annoyances?  Most often with irritation.  I become judgmental looking at the acts of others.  Abba Father!  

Forgive me!

"When you are content with any food, and offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God;  

That is dying to self.

I am not content.  I grumble.  I whine.  

Father ... forgive me.

"When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation or record your own good works or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown;  

That is dying to self.

How often do my conversations contain the word "I"?  Recording my own good works, itching after commendation.  Oh, Lord!  This is so hard!  

Father ... forgive me - 'myself' lives.  

"When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and you are in desperate circumstances;  

That is dying to self.

I pray, Lord, that I can honestly rejoice and feel no envy.  Forgive me for the times I do not.  Today, rejoicing seems so far away.

"When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit, inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart;

That is dying to self."

I have failed miserably at this, Lord.  I am amazed by You.  You take words that I read and can form them into something to pierce my heart, my soul.  I praise you that you are faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we confess out sins.  (I John 1:9)  You have commanded us to confess our sins to one another and to ask for prayer. (James 5:16)  Lord, I confess and ask for prayer.  Amen and Amen, Lord.

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