unSelfing ourSELVES

12764758_10207871278393338_48460173020244048_o    Over the past few months I have let some of the saints of the Church lead in my devotional life. One such person is Frederick William Faber (1814-1863). He is best known for his Lives of the Saints. But from his work The Creator and the Creature, there is one line which will not let my heart wander far.

Holiness is an unselfing (of) ourselves… .”

    When you think about it, that makes sense. How can Christ fill us with himself if we are supersaturated with ourselves?!? Any form of meditation, which is a quest for inner peace, calls upon us to empty ourselves…, and stay that way. I find that course quite dangerous. If I empty myself of myself, and do not refill that void with Jesus Christ, then I open myself to all sorts of devious invasions.

    For much of my life I believed that holiness was a thing to pursue, something that was a goal in the Christian life. Then again, it is also a platform granted to us by the Father through Jesus Christ. This is how God sees us the moment we put our trust in his son.

    Frederick Faber’s idea of holiness being an unselfing of ourselves is new to me. I am going to have to give it some thought. Yet as I probe within I find that unselfing is exactly what must take place. In Scripture we come across thoughts like “I must decrease; he must increase,” (John 3:27-36). We need to reexamine our priorities and reflect on what our supreme goal in life actually is; that which fills our time, that places our desires and dreams under Christ’s command.

    The ancient Greek maxim— You DO what you want, really is your definer of what is most important to you. Every six months to a year take an inventory of how you spend your time. Actually, start NOW. This should tell you where your heart is: money, sports, possessions, mission. Any revelations?

    One of the things I’ve noticed about myself through the years is that what I thought I needed, moved to the what I wanted category. Then I found that I wanted less and less in life. It was a good move. Still is.

    We all live at different levels in life— wealthy, poor, average, extravagant, sacrificing, giving. None of these definers is any more significant that the other. It is all a matter of what our God has designed you for.

    Whatever that is will call on you to continue in the process of unselfing yourself.

Honor God, honor people…, make a difference,
Gary

NEXT— The fear of the Lord…. 

Beyond Words – Take 3 – Cultivating a Biblical Mindset

BEYOND WORDS: Cultivating a Biblical Mindset— Take 3

One of the great delusions within the Western Church is that we know our Scriptures. We do not. We know a few feel good verses or sections that we can summon up as proof texts or evangelistic references, but, by-in-large, most of us draw a blank when it comes to the warp ‘n woof of the great expanse of Biblical history and how it overlays the rest of world history.

Cultivating a Biblical mindset takes effort. It takes thinking. It involves an understanding of history and how Biblical Truths weave their way throughout.

Imagine all of History, recorded & unrecorded, from the Beginning of Time through Final Culmination. BIG PICTURE. We know just a minuscule slice of it. Scripture describes an actual Creation in Hebrew poetic verse—brilliant! It then tells us about the important events and people that God knew we couldn’t figure out by just looking around. How much of this unique revelation do you really understand? It’s important.

Again, a picture may be worth a thousand words—

gary, davis, needinc, chrisitan, bible, mindset

Think of History, all of History, as cradling the birth of our story of Creation—Fall—Redemption—and Culmination, when all things will come together under the majesty of Jesus Christ. Scripture holds the principles by which we are to live in this world, and the practical implications of those principles to our daily lives in our interactions with others.

To grasp the depth and expanse of God’s gift to us we must immerse ourselves into the Bible. Not pulling out certain verses for comfort or combat—but to learn to live within its culture, walk its roads, and hear the heartbeats of the great men & women who walked with God before us. But we must also learn human history: not that of our own country, but of all countries. Become a student-of-history and you will see your own situation more clearly.

Slow down. The more you can integrate your life within the paths of Holy Writ the simpler it will be to express and communicate your faith.

For what it’s worth,

Gary