Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 19, 2006
This is the Most Important Message You will Ever Hear on Living a Victorious Life in Christ
(1 Corinthians 15:31; Romans 8:4-13; Galatians 5:16, 2:20)
I realized as I prayed and prepared to write this message, that this is going to be a very difficult one for most people to hear. In this day of motivational speakers, positive mental attitude seminars where people are whipped into an emotional frenzy by the glib-tongued hope merchants of our day, left out has been the hard truth that any success comes with a price. Even many of the preachers of our day have fallen into the trap of the world by telling people how they can be successful through Christ without also telling them about the sacrifice that is required for that success.
The bottom line is success sells, sacrifice doesn?t. People want to hear how to be successful, they don?t want to hear what it costs. Today, I am going to share with you the most important message you will ever hear on living a victorious life in Christ. It is a message of success, but the key to this message is sacrifice. It is not a one-time sacrifice, it is a DAILY sacrifice. It is the ultimate sacrifice that you can ever make, your very life. Paul wrote to the church at Galatia, ?I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.? The key to living a victorious life in Christ is dying to self daily. ? (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
You see my friend, the motivational gurus like Tony Robbins are selling you a message of false hope since the core of their message is that YOU can do it. That flies in the face of what God?s Word says in John 15:5, ?Without me, you can do nothing!? The lie of the world is that you can do it. The Truth of God is that you can do it, THROUGH CHRIST! So the entire foundation of the message these people are selling, and make no mistake about it, that is what they are doing, selling, is a lie.
The fact is, the greatest motivational book ever written is the Bible. If you want to be successful in your business, read the Bible. If you want to be successful in your finances, read the Bible. If you want to be successful in your relationships with others, read the Bible. If you want to be successful in your marriage, read the Bible. If you want to be successful in raising you children, read the Bible. If you want to have peace, and joy, and an abundant life, read the Bible. If you want to know the purpose for your life, read the Bible. I could never figure out why people spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on books, and tapes, and seminars, and workshops, when all they are seeking is right in God?s Word!
Today, there are many preachers and Christian speakers that have become Christian motivational gurus. They do what Tony Robbins and the motivational speakers of the world do, only they are at least using the Bible as their foundation. Where this new breed of Christian motivational speakers are failing, is in telling people the WHOLE story. You see, everyone wants to hear how to have lots of money, how to be successful in their business or career, how to have a great marriage, how to be a wonderful parent, how to live each day with the peace, joy, and abundance God?s Word speaks of. All of these things are possible through Christ. But what they choose to leave out is the most important detail there is. All things are possible through Christ, IF YOU DIE TO SELF DAILY SO JESUS IS IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE!
Dying to self daily is what Paul spoke of so often. It is how we walk in the ?spirit? and not in the ?flesh? as we are instructed in Romans Chapter 8 and Galatians Chapter 5. The whole issue of dying to self daily is the absolute key to living a victorious life in Christ. It literally means that you have to die to self DAILY! This is why so many people who are saved, love the Lord, live beneath their blessings and in constant turmoil. This is how people who know Christ as their Savior end up committing adultery, cheat people, lie, get in bondage to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, shopping, greed, and anything else people become enslaved to. They don?t die to self each day and end up walking in the ?flesh? and NOT the ?spirit.?
People wonder all the time how a pastor, a deacon, an elder, someone in the leadership of God?s church could leave their wife and run off with another woman. People wonder all the time how a Sunday School teacher who loves the Lord could neglect her children and family because of alcohol. People wonder how a businessman who is a pillar in his local church, leads a men?s Bible study, gives generously to support the work of God in his community, could be facing 10 years in prison for financial crimes. The answer is these people failed to die to self each day and instead of walking in the ?spirit? they were walking in the ?flesh.?
There is probably no more critical a message I will ever share with you in living a victorious life in Christ than the one today. All of the benefits in God?s Word exist and are available to those who believe, but there is a price to pay and that price is our very life surrendered, yielded to the Lord. It is a choice, an act, that nobody can force you to commit. Only you can do it. The important thing for you to hear today is that it is not something you do just once and forget about. It is something that you must do DAILY! EVERY DAY! WITHOUT FAIL! Each morning when you wake up, you have to make the conscious choice to die to self, to surrender your life to Christ, and walk in the ?spirit? instead of the ?flesh.?
I love you and care about you so much. The difference between a person who knows the Lord as their Savior living a defeated life and a victorious life, lies in what I am sharing with you today. Please, save your money. You don?t need to waste it listening to Robbins or the motivational speakers of the world lie to you that you can do it on your own, and you don?t need spend it on books and tapes from preachers who preach a feel good Gospel but forget to tell you about the sacrifice involved. The key to living a victorious life in Christ lies in you waking up each morning and making the conscious choice to die to self and allow Christ to control your life.
The fact is, the Bible says that if you have asked Christ into you heart and life by faith, it is no longer your life, that it belongs to Him. The Word says we have been ?bought with a price.? So in essence, each day you are only giving the Lord what already belongs to Him anyway. Remember my message last week on what really happens when we get saved? We are literally giving our life to Christ. It is no longer ours, but is now His. The reality is, each morning when we wake up, we have to make the choice to die to self so that Christ can live within us during that day. If we don?t do this each and every day when we wake up, we will soon find ourselves walking in the ?flesh? and not the ?spirit.?
I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will sit down and read this message over and over. This is the meat and potatoes of the Word. This is where the rubber meets the road in regard to our Christian walk. This is the part that nobody really wants to talk about since we love the benefits of being saved, but we really don?t want to think about the price that Jesus paid or the sacrifice we have to make each day. You MUST think about it since it is the difference between you living a defeated life and living a victorious life. To live that victorious life in Christ, to walk in His victory, you have to die to self each day so that you are walking in the ?sprit? and not the ?flesh? so that it is Christ, not you that lives.