Illustration results for self denial
"Faith Helped Woman Confront British Terrorists"
Remember a few weeks ago when the British soldier was beheaded in broad daylight outside his barracks?
The Telegraph, a British paper, reported that a mother and Cub Scout leader, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, age 48, confronted the terrorists immediately after the grisly murder. She was one of the first people on the scene. While one of the terrorists held a bloodied knife, she selflessly engaged the terrorist in conversation in an attempt to prevent him from killing others. A Christian blog for "First Things" noted the real factor that motivated Ms. Loyau-Kennett to risk her life and get involved was her Christian faith. She said, "I live my life as a Christian. I believe in thinking about others and loving thy neighbor. We all have a duty to look after each other."
Denying self is seldom that dramatic or high profile but it is often that demanding. Mrs. Loyau-Kennett understood that her faith is about far more than her own personal well-being. It is about obeying God and loving humanity.
Why do we have such a hard time quitting sin?
a. We enjoy sin
God, make me good, but not yet.
b. There is much to do
When a person becomes a Christian, he usually undergoes some radical life changes, especially if he has had an immoral background. Through the first steps of spiritual growth and self-denial, he gets rid of the large, obvious sins. But sad to say, many believers stop there. They don’t go on to eliminate the little sins that clutter the landscape of their lives.
Gordon MacDonald, in his book Ordering Your Private World, told of an experience in his own life that illustrates this truth. "Some years ago, when Gail and I bought the old abandoned New Hampshire farm we now call Peace Ledge, we found the site where we wished to build our country home strewn with rocks and boulders. It was going to take a lot of hard work to clear it all out....The first phase of the clearing process was easy. The big boulders went fast. And when they were gone, we began to see that there were a lot of smaller rocks that had to go too. But when we had cleared the site of the boulders and the rocks, we noticed all of the stones and pebbles we had not seen before. This was much harder, more tedious work. But we stuck to it, and there came the day when the soil was ready for planting grass."
- Our Daily Bread.
“A priest and a rabbi are discussing the pros and cons of their various religions, and inevitably the discussion turns to repentance.
The rabbi explains Yom Kippur, the solemn Day of Atonement, a day of fasting and penitence, while the priest tells him all about Lent, and its 40 days of self-denial and absolution from sins.
After the discussion ends, the rabbi goes home to tell his wife about the conversation, and they discuss the merits of Lent versus Yom Kippur.
She turns her head and laughs. The rabbi says, "What’s so funny, dear?"
Her response, "40 days of Lent - one day of Yom Kippur...so, even when it comes to sin, the goyyim (gentiles) pay retail....."
Rome was celebrating its temporary victory over Alaric the Goth in its usual manner, by watching gladiators fight to the death in the arena, when suddenly there was an interruption. A rudely clad robed figure boldly leaped down into the arena. Telemachus was one of the hermits who devoted themselves to a holy life of prayer and self-denial and kept themselves apart from the wicked life of Rome. Although few of the Roman citizens followed their example, most of them had great respect for these hermits, and the few who recognized Telemachus knew he had come from the wilds of Asia on a pilgrimage to visit churches and celebrate Christmas in Rome.
Without hesitating an instant, Telemachus advanced upon two gladiators who were engaged in their life-and-death struggle. Laying a hand on one of them, he sternly reproved him for shedding innocent blood, and then, turning toward the thousands of angry faces around him, called to them: "Do not repay God’s mercy in turning away the swords of your enemies by murdering each other!"
Angry shouts drowned out his voice. "This is no place for preaching! On with the combat!" Pushing Telemachus aside, the two gladiators prepared to continue their combat, but Telemachus s...
I’ve been reading "The Journal of John Wesley". In the entry for 24th May 1738, he wrote a detailed account of his spiritual pilgrimage. As a young boy in the family of a clergyman he had been "carefully taught" that salvation could only be obtained by "keeping all the commandments of God." Over the years at school and university, he wrote, "’I now hoped to be saved, by, (1) Not being so bad as other people. (2) Having a kind of religion. And, (3) Reading the Bible, going to church, and saying my prayers.’ I doubted not but I was a good Christian."
He was eventually ordained as a minister and lived very strictly, as he put it, "I omitted no sort of self-denial." But this brought him no peace with God. He went as a chaplain to the American Colonies and came under the influence of Moravian Christians and on his return to England in that January he realised that what he was lacking was "faith in and through Christ". He wrote in his Journal that he resolved to renounce all dependence upon his "own works or righteousness" and instead turned to a "saving faith, a full reliance on the blood of Christ shed for me." He finally knew he was converted when his heart "was strangely warmed" within him and "an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins."
MAIN TENENTS OF JAINISM
Jains reject belief in a creator god and seek release from endless reincarnation through a life of strict self-denial. The title of Jina is given to those who are believed to have triumphed over all material existence. As all human activity accumulates karma, the force that perpetuates reincarnation, the only way to free one’s jiva, or soul, from the bondage of material existence is by reducing this activity through ascetic practice. In addition, Jainism places a special emphasis on ahimsa ("non-injury") to all living beings. The concern for life is extended to all creatures, even minute microbes that are not visible. The Jain ideal is a mendicant ascetic who takes extreme measures to avoid injuring all creatures. Monks and nuns are sometimes seen with muslin cloths over their mouths to keep out flying insects, and they are enjoined to use small brooms to gently sweep away living creatures from their path, so as to not accidentally crush them.
IT COSTS SOMETHING TO BE CHRISTIAN
"It costs something to be a true Christian. Let that never be forgotten. To be a (lukewarm) Christian, and go to church, is cheap and easy work. But to hear Christ’s voice, follow Christ, believe in Christ, and confess Christ, requires much self-denial. It will cost us our sins, our self-righteousness, our ease, and our worldliness. ALL must be given up. Our Lord Jesus Christ would have us thoroughly understand this. He bids us count the cost."
--J. C. Ryle
“The cost of true greatness is humble, selfless, sacrificial service. The Christian who desires to be great and first in the kingdom is the one who is willing to serve in the hard place, the demanding place, the place where he is not appreciated and may even be persecuted. Knowing that time is short and eternity is long, he is willing to spend and be spent. He is willing to work for excellence without becoming proud, to withstand criticism without becoming bitter, to be misj...
Brethren Elder Peter Nead [1796-1877] was definitely a man of distinction. Living in a time when few Brethren were authoring books, Brother Nead chose to do so. In penning his theological point of views there was evidence in the words and phrases that his writing abilities were a little amateurish; especially when held in contrast to the deep theological writings of those with scholarly backgrounds. But yet his books often showed a bit of polish for those Brethren from the rural areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. As one would read, simple images and even splendid statements could be discovered.
Peter Nead was truly a blessing amid the Brethren, especially during the mid part of the nineteenth century. It has been stated that his book entitle, "Theological Writings of Various Subjects," published in 1850, he has definitely encouraged many individuals to join with the Brethren more so than any other writers. He also is credited as the author of the Brethren’s first published title on faith and practice, called "Primitive Christianity."
In the previous publication one can find this theological statement: “The Church, which is the body of Christ, will be found in a state of self-denial, walking in all the ordinances and commandments of the Lord, blameless.” What a profound statement penned by such a modest man: Definitely here is a series of phrases challenging all its readers to live in a life of “self-denial” and above that to be found “blameless” in their daily walk with the Christ.
How can anyone of us live such a life? Better yet, is it really possible to do?
“Fasting can be a form of body praying… [But] fasting has nearly ceased to be practiced among us as a religious duty. It has been replaced by other forms of self-denial. One of the most common of those among us is dieting, which is largely cosmetic and therapeutic. What is there to say about it? Perhaps only this: How much happier we should all be if persons who diet would just shut up about it!...The couplet that used to be quoted to those who quit smoking could well be modified and recited for dieters:
‘Giving up eating too much isn’t enough,
It’s giving up bragging about it that’s tough.’”
[John C. Purdy, “Returning God’s Call, 51]