I grew up in a church where we heard the word of God preached clearly and without compromise. I consider this a great privilege, as I learned to love the word of God from a young age. We had a pastor, whom I considered a true spiritual father. There was something he often used to say when explaining the concept of sin. He would say, “Sin is a little ‘s’, a big ‘I’ and a little ‘n’ – sIn”. He would explain how sin in essence meant putting myself, my own desires and my own interests above God.
2 Timothy 3:1-2 says, ‘But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves’. We are definitely living in the last days! Jesus told His disciples that being a true follower and disciple of Him means a surrender of self (so we can conform to His image). It means denying oneself and disregarding and losing sight of one’s own interests. A quote I read by John Bevere said, ‘Idolatry happens whenever we seek satisfaction outside of the will of God.’ The times we live in advocate self-idolatry, where human rights trump God’s Word.
To be a follower of Jesus, I need a change of focus. I need to make sure the things that are the centre of my attention and activity are in line with God’s will and God’s Word. God’s will and God’s way need to be in the front and centre of all I do.
To be a follower of Jesus, I need a change of mind. Another way to explain a ‘mind change’ is with the word ‘repentance.’ The original Greek word in the Bible for repentance is ‘metanoia.’ It literally means changing one’s mind. It implies a change of thinking which results in a change of direction. This may be needed daily, as we become aware of things in our lives which are not godly. Therefore, repentance should be a lifestyle.
To be a follower of Jesus, I need a change of attitude. Ephesians 4:23 speaks about the need ‘to be made new in the attitude of your minds’, the way we feel and respond to situations we face and the decisions we make accordingly.
To be a disciple of Jesus, I need to embrace a life of full surrender to Him, abandoning myself to Him. This is not always easy, or the comfortable thing to do, because it requires a laying down of the big ‘I’ and an intentional choice to follow the Lord no matter what this may look like. But be encouraged by this scripture in Revelation 22:12-13, ‘Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with Me, to repay and render to each one just what his own actions and his own work merit. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (the Before all and the End of all).’
Prayer: Lord, I realise that it is so easy for my affections to be influenced by the things of this life, causing me to take my eyes off You and to seek my own comfort and satisfaction. Please help me to keep Your word in the front and centre of my life and to live a life surrendered to You, where You are Lord of every area of my life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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