Summary: Generosity, gratitude and obedience
I GIVE YOU ME!
Gal. 2:20 (p824) Nov. 28, 2010
Have you ever had something you really didn't want to give up? I mean something you loved, were comfortable with…something that you knew you should get rid of, but you just kept holding onto it.
Maybe its something like smoking, chewing, drinking, eating fired chicken…you love it, its become a habit…you know its not good, but letting go of it isn't so easy.
I remember my son had this old pink shirt he use to wear…I called it his missionary shirt because it had these 2 pockets in the front on the bottom and some fancy stitching that went down the front. (It looked like shirts I use to see missionaries in all the time). It become tattered, torn and a mess, but he kept on wearing it…we'd throw it away and he'd find it and dig it out. Finally Kair cut it up into tiny pieces and put it en the bottom of a bag of dirty diapers...it was gone for good that time.
All of us are like that with parts of our lives…things we like a lot…things we've become comfortable with and just don't want to throw away. It would almost be a relief if someone else could step in, take those things away, cut them into little pieces and throw them out with the dirty diapers...occasionally we'd long for them, but they'd be history.
Galatians 2:20 says "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me".
Each and every one of us have had lives that were like my son's old tattered and torn shirt…we had become comfortable in weary them…we liked the fit…letting them go wasn't going to be easy or "comfortable".
Putting on something brand new was going to feel weird and I was going to look very different.
For me to wear Christ for the world to see was going to be radically different than the "old Rick attire".
What would make me want to change out of the old tattered life that I was use to wearing and put on a new set of salvation clothes?
It would require:
I A GOOD LOOK IN THE MIRROR.
When the Apostle Paul says "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live..
You have to ask…why? Why would you crucify yourself…why would you allow Saul to be nailed to a tree with Christ?
Saul wasn't a kid anymore. He was a grown man, studied and learned under Gamaliel…He was a person of influence and prestige "A Pharisee of Pharisees. He had access to the High Priest.. He knew important folks and had their ear.
Why would Saul want to give all that up. He'd probably worked his whole life to bring that about. He thought he looked remotely stunning in these "powerful, influential old duds.
He was comfortable in them…He wore them well.
As Stephen the first Christian Martyr died "Saul was there giving approval to his death…Holding their coats…nodding an agreement in Acts 8. And as Acts 9 begins "Saul is still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. Collecting warrants from the High Priests. So he can go out and do more the same.
In fact he's weary these clothes as he heads for Damascus so he can find any who follow the way of Jesus.
But folks he was going to take a good look in the mirror shortly.
ACTS 9:3 - 19 (p 777)
Before you can ever understand how tattered and torn your life is you have to come into the presence of Jesus…and even then it takes a godly messenger like Amanas to explaining how "you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
Only the Holy Spirit can remove the selfish seals from our eyes so we can see Jesus and ourselves in His presence. His perfect holiness and our tattered, sinful image are shown clearly in the mirror of the Holy Spirit's conversion.
Baptism isn't "the washing of dirt from the body…it goes much deeper…it’s the pledge of a good conscience before God…it's our salvation because of the resurrection of Jesus…He died for our sins…He lives for our salvation. (1 Peter 3:21)
Only by looking in this mirror can I make a decision that "I will be crucified with Christ and I no longer live…He now lives in me!".
There is no other catalyst that will make me see the truth…whether I'm on the road to Damascus, or the road to Hell.
According to God's word we were asleep in our sin and someone needed to wake us up.