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Lay down your life

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This is a reflection from today’s devotion from Oswald Chamber’s Utmost for His Highest….

A while ago, I had this interesting thought…through the journey of seeking His Kingdom above everything else….I realized all my stuff is His.  I sat on my bed.  Looked over my bookshelves and told myself, ‘all the books belonged to Him.’  I looked up on the shelves where my triathlon gears were and said, ‘the bike, the triathlon gears are all His.  If He wants to take it away….just let me know and I will give it away.’

In the western world, we often attribute ourselves based on what we own.  Possessions are a representative of our personality and individuality.   If you want to be sporty, you get a Toyota Rav4.  If you want to be cool, get a Honda Civic.  What we own and what we consume is an extension of who we are.  This applies to house, cars, clothing, brand names, types of vacation we go to, and even the food we eat.

As I sat in my room slowly releasing all my possessions to Him, I realized that sooner or later my life belonged to Him.

This life is God’s. If tomorrow He takes it away, I have no right to say no.  My life is in His hands. All that I once considered as valuable, important, and priority. Gone.  

In a morbid sort of way, I really consider that Cliff Tam died along the way.  I don’t know when.  I don’t know when I started to think like this. I just know it was sometime after I signed a contract with God that I would seek Him first back in Dec 25 2007 until now.

I am pretty sure if I go back in time, say 2005, when I first gone to church and someone told me, ‘Cliff, if you want to be a Christian, you will have to give up everything and follow Him.  Everything that you have now means nothing.

I would probably think you are crazy and you are nuts. Our whole world and our live is build upon getting more, accumulating more, getting better, moving on top.  No one ever tell you, you start from top and work you way down (let alone work your way down with JOY).

And so somewhere along the path of seeking Him.  With the transformation from the Holy Spirit, the old Cliff Tam is gone.  He died along the way. I bury him somewhere along the path.  This life is now His.

He goes and I follow.
He directs and I obey.
There’s no ifs, no complaints, no whining (at least not a lot).
It is obedience and servant hood.
What do the servant do?  He doesn’t whines when his master tells him what to do.
He serves.
He deals with crappy situation.
He does as he is told.

If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. But the exhibiting of salvation in my life is difficult. God saves a person, fills him with the Holy Spirit, and then says, in effect, “Now you work it out in your life, and be faithful to Me, even though the nature of everything around you is to cause you to be unfaithful.” And Jesus says to us, “. . . I have called you friends. . . .” Remain faithful to your Friend, and remember that His honor is at stake in your bodily life.

I like the last part of what Oswald Chamber said…..we often blame our circumstances of our sinful nature.

It is his fault. I got angry because he lies.
We might not even realize it consciously.   One sin does not justify another sin.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. – Romans 12:17

This is not my problem…he messed it up in the first place
When things turned bad.
Hahaha he deserved it. God reigns!

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:1-2

I can’t believe he is doing this again. I tried to help him and he doesn’t listen.  I told him what to do.  This is HIS FAULT. Not my fault.
Sometimes we think we encourage others when in fact it is a reflection of our own selfish motive and pride.

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. – Romans 14:10

But Oswald said we can not be like this.  When we have to work out our salvations, we are to be light in this fallen and broken world.  Even to our Christian brothers and sisters!  There’s never an excuse for a reason to be mad or to get angry.  These are the very temptation we are to struggle against and we simply have to struggle and overcome them.

So good!!

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:34-38

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