Summary: This sermon discusses the meaning of Self-Denial
Finding Life By Losing Life
In one point of the recent movie, “A Knights Tale”, Sir Orrick travels to Paris to compete in the Jousting Tournament. In case you are wondering, Jousting was a medieval game where two knights rode on a horse with a lance trying to hit the other knight. And the first one who hit the other knight three times won the match. It kept on going that way with different opponents until the tournament ended with one victorious knight.
While Sir Orrick is in Paris he travels to a Cathedral to visit the woman he loves. In the Cathedral, he asks her, “Joselyn, How may I prove my love to you?” She tells him, “If you would prove your love, you should do worst.” He replies, “My worst, what do you mean?” “ Instead of winning to honor me with your high reputation, I want you to act against your normal character and do badly.” “ Do badly?” “Lose.” “Losing proves nothing, except that I am a Loser.” “Wrong!, Losing is a much keener test of your love.” “Losing would contradict your self-love and Losing would show your obedience to your lover and not to yourself!”
When watching this, the Biblical lesson of Self-Denial popped in my head. This movie put it very simply if we put it on a spiritual level. In order to prove our love for God, we must lose to ourselves. We are to act against our normal character and do badly. When we lose to ourselves, we show our obedience to our lover, Christ, and not to ourselves, our wants and desires.
Luke 9:23,24 “ If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily. And let him follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life, he will lose it. But whoever loses his life for My sake, shall find it.”
The Title of my lesson is, “Finding Life By Losing Life.” And in order for you to understand how to do this, I must first give you ……………………
I. The Report of Self-Denial ( The meaning of Self-Denial)
A. Submit to Christ’s Will
1. It means you must put your own personal desires and what you want to do secondary to what the Lord wants. What God wants must come first in our lives, not what we want..
2. The Whole duty of man is to “fear God and keep His commandments.”(Eccl.12:13)
3. We are not on this Earth to please ourselves; we are here to please God!!
4. Jesus set the prime example for this! Paul said, “For Christ pleased not himself.”(Rom.15:3) In John 8:29 Jesus said, “For I do always the things that are pleasing to Him.”
5. Before Jesus’ Crucifixion He prayed three times in the Garden that the cup of suffering (i.e. the cross) might be removed from Him.
6. The main point is that He purposed to do His Fathers will and not His own.
7. In Luke 22:42 Jesus prayed, “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
8. A disciple of Christ must recognize the Lordship of Christ over his entire life, which involves complete submission to His will.
1. R.T. France once said, “Discipleship is not the result of an easy compliance, but of a deliberate and permanent decision.”
2. The call is not for the easy denial of things to self, but denial of the very self.
3. It is a choice we make. Not a simple one, but an enduring and long-lasting one until the very day that we face death.
4. But it is hard to get people to deny themselves any pleasure today.
5. Modern Americans want immediate self-pleasure. They do not want to be uncomfortable in any way.
6. The philosophy in America is “Get all that you can out of life because you only live once…Live for today…Capture the moment…If it feels good, do it.”
7. Of course, this kind of life seems foolish to the world; but to the Christian, it is wisdom.
8. These people think they are really living it up, having a great time. But in fact they are really dead.
9. 1 Timothy 5:6 “She who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives.”
It was a 99-degree September day in San Antonio, when a 10-month-old baby girl was accidentally locked inside a parked car by her aunt. Frantically the mother and aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. Soon the infant was turning purple and had foam on her mouth.
It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred Arriola, a wrecker driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free. Was he heralded a hero? Arriola reported, "The lady was mad at me because I broke the window." "I just thought, What’s more important--the baby or the window?"