Shall we say it together? WoW. Oh, to learn to abide daily in this magnificent Christ and to live daily by His indwelling Life – what a lesson! And what an ongoing, daily lesson it is. That is the key – ongoing, daily. I daily take me, myself, and I, my flesh, my old man, my self, my whatever you want to call it, and I count it dead. If I don’t, then how can I forsake all for Him; I will have forsaken everything but me. If I don’t count my soul-life as dead, how can I live by His divine life? So yes, forsaking all includes forsaking myself. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Now, my focus is not on my death, my denial of all. No, my focus is on Jesus Christ! As I abide in Him, all these other things are taken care of. Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The writer of Hebrews said “let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” He doesn’t say, “fixing our eyes on our death.” Nor does he say, “fixing our eyes on our own identity in Christ, who we already are in Him, or the victorious/new/abundant life we have.” No! He says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Why? Because Jesus is “the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” It’s Jesus, not us.
“Wherever there is life, there is a continual interchange of taking in and giving out, receiving and restoring.”
“There are Christians who look on [the spiritual life’s] blessedness as consisting all in the privilege of ever receiving; they know not how the capacity for receiving is only kept up and enlarged by continual giving up and giving out – how it is only in the emptiness that comes from the parting with what we have, that the divine fulness can flow in. It was a truth our Saviour continually insisted on. When He spoke of selling all to secure the treasure, of losing our life to find it, of the hundred-fold to those who forsake all, He was expounding the need of self-sacrifice as the law of the Kingdom for Himself as well as for His disciples. If we are really to abide in Christ, and to be found in Him – to have our life always and wholly in Him – we must each in our measure say with Paul, ‘I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, that I may win Christ, and be FOUND IN Him.'”
I have so much I want to say on this subject, and I’ve shared some of it here, here, and here. Today, however, let’s hear from you. How did the Lord speak to you through today’s chapter? What experiences of life have you had from forsaking all for Him? Pretty please share.