Hello beloved creatures of God, I hope you’re fine by God’s grace.
Today in Salvation 101 we’ll talk about the necessity of self-denial, humility, heavenly-mindedness and of living above the world
If you’ve not read the previous posts I invite you to check them out here
In the previous blog posts in this series called “Salvation 101”, we talked about salvation, surrendering our lives to Christ and living a new life in Him. There are some aspects of Christianity which aren’t always mentioned in some churches, such that some people believe that they are practising Christianity while their lifestyle is the complete opposite of Christian values. As such, it’s important that we talk about the necessity of self-denial, humility, heavenly-mindedness and of living above the world.
If you really want to become a Christian, and to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, you have to deny your life ie you don’t live for yourself anymore but you live for Jesus. This implies that many things will be sacrificed, because you will prefer serving The Lord. Instead of spending 20 hours per day watching television or videos on social media you’ll ask God “Lord what do you want me to do today?” and you will organise your day according to His Will. Instead of denying Jesus in order for people to accept you at work or in your family, you’ll prefer to be persecuted and even killed because you’ve chosen Jesus. Your life won’t come first for you anymore, but Jesus will come first. More often than not, instead of spending huge amounts of money in useless things you’ll prefer sacrificing it to help the poor in His Name without anyone forcing you, God Himself will tell you to forego stuff in order to help the needy in His Name, in fact you’ll even have a budget to help the needy. Once you decide to live for Jesus, you don’t live for yourself anymore, you deny yourself, you take up your cross and follow Him.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone 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 will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:24-26 NKJV
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
I Peter 5:6-7 NKJV
As you choose to accept Jesus as Lord over your life, you also make the decision to humble yourself under Him, to submit to Him. It means He’s The Boss and you’re not. It means that He orders and you obey. Humility first and foremost starts with your own relationship with God. Are you ready to submit to Him and to let Him reign over you? Or are you going to act proud and try to boss Him around?
Some people want to be called Christians but they also want to pick and choose which parts of The Bible they will obey. For example some choose to live in sexual immorality, and to practice divination, to go to wizards/witches, and they also say they serve Jesus. They are lying to themselves, because you can’t serve two masters. When you choose to disobey God you actually choose to obey the devil and to humble yourself before the devil. In a certain sense you consider yourself too superior, so much above God’s laws, so proud that you cannot accept to obey Him. You say you want a relationship with Him but you want it on your terms. Be careful, that isn’t Christianity but instead New Age and many people are taking that path to hell.
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
I Peter 5:5 NKJV
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11 NKJV
If you choose today to become a Christian, decide to be humble before God and also before people. Don’t act proud, don’t act superior. As you choose to serve Jesus, understand that you’ll join a Christian community and you’ll have to submit to authority in The Lord in that community. Which means that when you’ll be told to avoid being alone with the opposite sex unless they’re your spouse or your siblings, instead of playing proud you will humble yourself and submit. It also means that when they’ll encourage you to dress decently, you will obey instead of trying to show off. This also means that when Bible classes/Bible studies will be organised you won’t say “I don’t need it because I know everything already”, no, you’ll be humble enough to be receptive, to listen, to ask questions, to compare with what The Bible says and to ask God to help you grow.
Humility is so much undervalued among many self-professing Christians nowadays. As you’re deciding to obey Jesus, you’re accepting to humble yourself before The Word and to not boss over other Christians even when you’ll have grown in faith, but to relate with them in love, respect and Biblical truth.
And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Matthew 23:10-12 NKJV
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:7-14 NKJV
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”
Hebrews 10:16 NKJV
Nowadays, many Christians have lost the vision. They live as if their end-goal happened to be life here on earth while the goal is to spend eternity with The Lord. It looks like a minority of self professing Christians still live as if they know that they are here on pilgrimage on earth, knowing that it’s only temporary. Most others are so focused on goods, money, the pleasures of the world that they have lost their focus.
Unfortunately, when heavenly-mindedness disappears, the heart starts to get cold. We start wondering “When will The Lord Jesus return?” and before we realise it we have thoughts like “Since He doesn’t seem to be returning now I can commit this sin and ask for forgiveness later. Let me enjoy first”. Then sooner than expected we would have left the path of righteousness to follow the path of sin, praying at times for Jesus to not return now, so that we won’t go to hell, but not repenting, because we still want to enjoy the pleasures of the world.
Lack of heavenly-mindedness is a very dangerous thing especially since you don’t know when you’ll die and you don’t know when Christ will return. That day will surprise you as a thief, and if you’re not living right with God now, and you refuse to repent, you’ll have eternity to cry about your wrong choices.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
II Peter 3:10 NKJV
This series of blog posts is to encourage you to surrender your life to Jesus for real. To live prepared as though the return of The Lord would be today, or as if your death would be today.
4. Living Above the World
I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
John 17:14-18 NKJV
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:2-11 NKJV
Many people don’t understand that the lifestyle of the world is in complete opposition to the lifestyle of true Biblical Christians. When you decide to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, you accept to change your lifestyle and to live above the world. For most people it will imply changes in the way they speak (eg. no more immoral, profane talk), changes in the way they dress (eg. goodbye to immoral and provocative clothing), changes in the things they eat (eg. no more eating meat with blood in it), changes in the first thing they do when they wake-up (eg. Prayer and Bible study instead of scrolling on social media and checking their mails), changes in relationships (eg. No sex out of marriage, no more sex friends, deciding to hang out at church with other believers instead of going to nightclub etc.). Your life as a Christian will be different from the lifestyle of the world, even your temper will change.
Unfortunately, many churches won’t talk about this aspect of Christianity, because they want many members to adhere, without caring whether or not these members are true believers or just people who are being deceived and going to hell.
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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
I John 2:15-17 NKJV
If you’ve decided today to surrender your life to Jesus, understand that there must be a change. He will equip you for that change, but you have to be willing and to surrender yourself to Him completely.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV
Many churches will encourage you to say the salvation prayer but will not tell you what it really means to be a Christian, but now you know better. If you choose to surrender your life to Jesus Christ today, you’re also accepting to live in self-denial, to put God first, to humble yourself before Him, to obey The Word of God, to remain heavenly-minded and to live different from the rest of the world, not to blend in it but stand out as a follower of Christ.
The decision is yours, but if you refuse today to surrender to Jesus Christ, you may never surrender to Him in future and if you don’t, know that when He will return He will not return as your Saviour but as your judge.
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Matthew 7:23-27 NKJV
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:41 NKJV
Prayer to Surrender Your Life to Jesus Christ and to choose holiness
Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, I have sinned against You and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You love me so much that You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I make the decision today to turn from my sins and I invite You to come into my life, to set me free, to give me a new nature, to transform my life so that I live a holy life. I choose from this day forward to love You, to obey You, to humble myself under the mighty hand of God, to practice self-denial, to put You first and to live above the world. I want to live a holy life which glorifies God’s Name. I surrender myself completely to You Lord, spirit, soul and body. I choose today to trust and follow You as my Lord and Saviour. My life is Yours. I choose to obey You. Amen
Weekly Prayer Meeting
I would like to announce that every Saturday from 11:00-11:40 PM (GMT+1) I host a prayer meeting on Zoom (online) to pray for the salvation of our loved ones, our friends and acquaintances etc and to minister healing to the sick. You can join and invite others to join with you, believers as well as unbelievers. You can click on the link here to register for the event.
Looking for a Church?
I can recommend to you Dominion Life Church with General Overseer Apostle Curry Blake. In case there is no campus near you, you can watch online every Sunday at 3:00 PM (GMT +1) for first service and 4:00 PM (GMT +1) for second service
God bless you and contact me on social media for your prayer requests and also to share about your story/testimony with Jesus.