Illustration results for self denial
Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
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....."
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."
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...
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 PADDED CROSS
Well, here I am, Lord. You said, "Take up your cross," and I'm here to do it. It's not easy, You know, this self-denial thing. I mean to go through with it, through...yes, Sir. I'll bet you wish more people were willing to be disciples like me. I've counted the cost and surrendered my life, and it's not an easy road.
You mind if I look around over the crosses? I'd kind of like a new one. I'm not fussy, You understand, but a disciple has to be relevant these days.
I was wondering -- are there any that are vinyl padded? I am thinking of attracting others -- see? And if I could show them a comfortable one I'm sure I could win a lot more.
And I need something durable so I can treasure it always. Oh, is there one that's sort of flat so it would fit under my coat? One shouldn't be too obvious.
Funny there doesn't seem to be much, choice here -- just that coarse rough wool one I mean, that would hurt. Don't You have something more distinctive, Lord I can tell You right now, none of my friends are going to be impressed by this shoddy workmanship. They'll think I'm a nut or something. And my family will be just mortified. What's that? It's either one of these or forget the whole thing? But, Lord, I want to be your disciple. I mean, just being with You, that's all that counts; but life has to have a balance, too. But You don't understand -- nobody lives that way today! Who's going to be attracted by this self--denial bit? I mean, I want to, but let's not over do it. Start getting radical like this, and they'll have me off to the funny farm, know what mean?
I mean, being a disciple is challenging and exciting and I want to do it; but I have some rights, You know. Now let's see -- no blood, okay? I just can't stand the thought of that, Lord ... Lord? Jesus? Now, where do you suppose He went?
(QUOTED in January, 1976 from Carlyle Saylor in "Christian Deaf Fellowship" PULPIT HELPS, March, 1982
“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...
R. David Reynolds
The highest honour a nation can bestow upon one of her sons is to name him “The Father of his country.” This is a title given to heroes as far back in history as the Roman Empire. “When a Roman citizen had done some brave, beautiful deed of infinite value and of noble self-denial, while soldiers raised him on their shields and maidens threw garlands of flowers at his feet, the populace would hail him in their shouts and songs as Pater Patriae—Father of his country.” [SOURCE: Herbert Lockyer, All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible: A Unique Classification of All Scriptural Designations of the Three Persons of the Trinity (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975), 148.]
In America that title belongs to General George Washington, Supreme Commander of the Army of the Potomac and first President of the United States of America. In similar fashion Jesus Christ may be considered as the “Father of His Country.” His country is heaven and all the vast extents of the universe He created. If our nation gives the highest respect and honour to George Washington, certainly we Christians can do no less for our Lord Jesus Christ in regards to His kingdom.
Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self-imposed straitjacket of which the wearer is unaware.