Showing posts with label The Truth Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Truth Media. Show all posts

How To Please God



You become like the people you spend the most time with, so choose your friends carefully. If you spend time with angry, resentful people, you risk becoming an angry, resentful person yourself. That’s because attitudes are contagious.

Here’s a wonderful story that illustrates the point.

A man purchased a newspaper at a newsstand every day. He always greeted the vendor very courteously, but in return received very gruff and discourteous service; the vendor would rudely shove the newspaper in his face.

The man, however, would politely smile and wish him a nice day. This went on for several days until a friend asked, ‘Does he always treat you this rudely?’ The man replied, ‘Unfortunately, he does.’

The questioner asked, ‘Are you always polite and friendly to him?’ The man replied, ‘Yes, I am.’ The questioner continued, ‘Why are you so nice to him when he’s so rude to you?’ The man replied, ‘Because I don’t want him to decide how I’m going to act.’

The Bible says: “If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example and you must follow in His steps.

He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when He was insulted, not threaten revenge when He suffered. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly’ (1 Peter 2:20-23).

“Without faith”, says Hebrews 11:6, “it is impossible to please God”. It’s good to have faith but having only faith is not enough; it must be accompanied correspondingly by works of righteousness in the newness of life born of God in Christ Jesus (James 2:14-17).

As a born-again believer, there are several ways to please God but when you live a life that daily glorifies and reflects the character of God in accordance with His commandments and will; this is how to truly please God.



THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Welcome To June!



Background Image Cred: Cardstore

From The Truth Media family,
Happy New Month!!!

There’s a whisper in the air,
It tells of pleasant things;
The valiant who can dare
Would get what this month brings.

It’s a bright new day of peace,
It’s a brand new month of June,
When you let all worries cease,
Soon will you savour life’s boon.

Put your trust in God,
He’ll guide and defend you;
Though your life is flawed,
In Him is hope for you.

Prepare your mind for wonders,
As all your dreams come through,
This June may displease others,
For you, it’s sure breakthrough.


*** Written by Michael Olajubu alias Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

The Turning Point





Steve lived for pleasure all his youth,
Those days he spent for girls and beers,
He knew all clubs but not the truth
That such a life brings bitter tears.

He called it fun – all he could see,
He knew not life could turn out mean;
Soon, cash ran out, so was his glee,
Then did he see where he had been.

For once he felt the pangs of life;
Alone, aggrieved, he was hopeless
And thought it best to end his life
Than live with doubts yet penniless.

Poison in hand, about to die,
Knocks at the door delayed his plan,
He raised his gaze and asked, ‘God why?’
Only to see it was a man.

‘What do you want? And who are you?’
Were what Steve asked the unknown man.
‘I do not mean to bother you,
‘Good evening Sir, my name is Dan,

‘I live close in the neighborhood;
‘I’ve come to share good news with you.’
The strange man preached how God is good
And what His Son had to go through

That all may have eternal life,
Freedom from guilt, sorrow, and sin.
Steve met Jesus and gave his life,
That day he found relief within.

Being born-again he gave it all
To follow Christ and be like Him.
His past was gone; Steve became Paul
His sinful days were behind Him

And now he lives by faith in Christ;
The Devil has no hold on Him.
You too can have this joy in Christ;
He calls for you, come unto Him

All ye that labour and in pain
And you’ll find succour for your soul.
The glitz of life is all but vain,
To have it all and lose your soul

What shall it profit in the end?

*** Written by Michael Olajubu alias Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***



THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Working Together In Unity



None of us can do individually, what all of us can do collectively.

Paul writes, ‘All of you together are Christ’s body (the church) and each of you is a part of it.’ But His body has been known to misbehave. The brain discounts the heart (Academics discount worshippers); the hands criticize the knees (People of action criticize people of prayer); the eyes refuse to partner with the feet (Visionary thinkers won’t work with steady labourers).

So Paul writes, ‘The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” (1 Corinthians 12:21).

The mega-church needs the smaller church. The liberal needs the conservative. The pastor needs the missionary. Cooperation is more than a good idea; it’s a scriptural command. ‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace’ (Ephesians 4:3).

When we work together in unity, the Bible says God ‘commands His blessings’ to be upon us (Psalm 133:1-3). We haven’t been called to compare, to compete, to complain, or to criticize one another. No, we have been called to complement one another!

Jesus said: ‘When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there (Matthew 18:19-20).

What an astounding promise. When we come into agreement, Jesus notices. He shows up, He hears and answers our prayers.

“You can do what I cannot do,” says Mother Teresa, “I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” Together Everyone Achieves More for the Lord.



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The Ineffectual Gospel And The Potency Of Evil



Of all the perennial questions about God and His existence on the lips of unbelievers, these two seem not to have gotten sufficient answers as required: ‘Does God really care?’ ‘You say He is a loving and just God but why does He allow so much evil and corruption and wickedness in the world?’

You see, evil was never God’s invention from the beginning. “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good…” says Genesis 1:31. So where did the evil come from? Add letter ‘D’ to the word ‘evil’ and there you have where all the evil came from – The Devil.

But wasn’t he created by God Almighty? Doesn’t that mean God also created evil?

The concept of creation is such that, when a thing or an entity is created for a purpose, its very creation also confers on the thing or entity a tendency of being repurposed contrarily. That is why a household knife created to serve as a cooking utensil for chopping in the kitchen could as well become a tool for murder on the street.

So, if a thing such as a household knife created with and for a noble purpose could turn into an injurious weapon, what then can be said about a creature with the mind, intellect, image, and nature of God yet, possessing free will?

With the fall of man from the time of Adam and Eve, evil was born. It has misled and still misleads men and woman into acting against the will and plan of God for humanity. But God couldn’t be content beholding His precious creation treading on the path of destruction.

So, a sacrifice was required and a decision was made. And while evil permeated (even till now) the hearts of men to desecrate the world, God devised a flawless solution.

To proffer answers to the above questions unbelievers often ask: ‘Does God really care?’ Oh, certainly yes, He does care and very much. All along the troubled history and evolution of man, God has always presented Himself as a willing and able refuge in times of need (Psalm 46:1-2). In spite of our unfaithfulness and weaknesses, His faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2; 100:5).

Sometimes, however, His way of caring comes in the form of chastisement. As was often the case of the children of Israel whenever they disobey God and embrace idolatry.

The fact is, when God chastises, it leaves one with an unforgettable experience of pain to always remind of not taking the popular self-destructive road that seemeth right unto man (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).

Besides, in all candidness, what is genuine love without discipline? That is why “the Lord disciplines the ones He loves and He chastens everyone He accepts as His own” (Hebrews 12:5-11).

‘You say He is a loving and just God but why does He allow so much evil and corruption and wickedness in the world?’ Thousands of years ago, God answered this question Himself and has taken a commendable step for all eternity.

But because the ‘whole world is presently under the control of the evil one’, and the reign of the god of this world is yet unfulfilled, God’s palliative measure would at the moment appear ineffective. Still, its efficacy in the lives of those who have responded to God’s call cannot be overridden.

What then was and is this God’s palliative measure referred to? It is the GOSPEL and what it inevitably offers to this dying and perverse world is not a savior but ‘the Saviour’, JESUS CHRIST, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Image Cred: notashamedofthegospel.com
Let’s consider this for some seconds: if the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Christianity preaches is so potent enough to curb the outspread of evil we see in the world, why hasn’t there been revival across nations? Whereas, hate, injustice, and killings are daily on the rise and nothing seems to change.

What could be wrong? You ask, right? Here is a probable answer I have found.

While studying and meditating on my DCLM daily devotional for May 16, 2018, I came across an intriguing analogy I want to share with you.

A soap manufacturer, who was an unbeliever, walked along the road one day with a preacher of the gospel. The soap manufacturer said, ‘The gospel you preach has not done much good, for there is still a lot of wickedness in the world and a lot of wicked people too.’

The preacher made no reply until they passed a dirty little child, making mud pies in the gutter. Seizing his opportunity, the preacher said: ‘Soap has not done much good in the world, I see; for there is still much dirt and dirty people about.’

‘Oh, well,’ said the soap manufacturer, ‘soap is only useful when it is applied.’ ‘Exactly!’ said the preacher, ‘so it is with the gospel.’

The Gospel is as useful and effective as its acceptance and application. The moral, spiritual and physical condition of this world has turned from bad to worse (and heading to worst) not because the Gospel is ineffectual but because it is poorly preached and as such, it becomes unconvincing to accept as the liberating truth.

Worse still, is the saddening reality of professed believers who, either reluctantly or willfully accepted the Gospel, battle with the concept of total surrender of self to put on Christ. They wrestle with the idea of complete obedience to the Word of God (Gospel) and would rather adhere to the commandments that soothe their egos while ignoring the discomforting ones.

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil….” (John 3:19-21). Unless mankind gets to the point where the works of the flesh are loathed, self and its esteem are insufficient, the pride of life becomes insignificant, a burning sensation to experience heaven arises within and the soul desires more out of life than just to exist, the Light of God will never be appreciated.

Though the god of this world has blinded the minds of many so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ… (2 Corinthians 4:4), all glory to God that the Advocate (Holy Spirit) has come to prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment… and redirecting the lost back to the Shepherd of their souls (John 16:7-11; 1 Peter 2:25).

Oh, can you now see what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God? Having sent His only begotten Son to destroy the works of the Devil and to reconcile us back to Himself, it behooves on us to show gratitude by our unwavering faith in Him and by loving Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind. And this we can evidently do by keeping His Word and commandments (See: 1 John 3:1-3, 8; Colossians 1:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Luke 10:27; John 14:15).


So, you see now that while evil remains potent in the world, the Gospel of Christ is not in any way ineffectual by any standards. People have only failed to accept and apply it in their lives. The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God unto salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18; Romans 1:16-17).

Finally, brethren, let the world delight in evil and the children of God be true to their calling in Christ. Let those who are unjust continue and let those who are filthy be filthy still; let the righteous persevere and the holy, be holy still.

It is certain that soon, all men shall face the judgment seat of Christ and He shall give to every man according as his work shall be - whether it is good or evil (See: Revelations 22:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:5-11).

Let those with ears hear and those with eyes see, that they may know what will become of everyone when the trumpet shall sound.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

*** Written by Michael Olajubu alias Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***



THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Do You Feel Inadequate?



In second Corinthians chapter two, Paul asks the question, "Who is equal to such a task?" And in chapter three he answers it: "Our competence comes from God" (2 Corinthians 3:5).

We are aware of our limitations when it comes to meeting the needs of our families, fulfilling the demands of our jobs, persevering in spite of the energy drain and the chronic pain, battling a long-standing habit, learning a new job after being laid off, staying in a difficult marriage, and finding the strength needed to keep forging ahead when our dreams fail.

Background Image Cred: explorandolafe.wordpress.com
We pretend we have got it together. We act like we are capable of handling any situation, but deep down we know we are not. The truth is, without God's grace and power we are inadequate.

This can be a tough concept for proud, assertive types to accept. It undermines their ego to acknowledge that without God they don't know the right thing to do, the right way to do it, or where the power to do it will come from.

It is tough for them to admit they must consciously rely on Him at all times. But once you adopt that stance and start depending on God, you are on the threshold of the life you have always wanted.

What was the secret of Paul's strength? "I just let Christ take over!" And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become (2 Corinthians 12:10).

D.L. Moody said, "When a man has no strength, if he leans on God he becomes powerful." Regardless of how long you have walked with Jesus, never forget that every ounce of your adequacy comes from Him.

-- Culled from GSAF The Word for Today May 2016 --



THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Looking Forward




I pray and believe that all is well with you today. It a wonderful day and I will rejoice and be glad in it. I can rejoice because I know down in my heart I am doing what God told me to do.

In the church today people need to stop making excuses for why they are not serving the Lord. Too many people are waiting for God to do something when in fact it is He Who is waiting on them to do something. Stop telling God how flawed and unworthy you are and begin to put your hand to the plow and do the job that is available to you now.

God does not look for the many, He looks for the few. He is looking for “a few good men” who will love Him above all others and have hearts to serve Him no matter the cost. Always remember, the door of tomorrow will not open until you do something today.

To those who are flawed in character but mighty in Spirit the Lord gives a powerful command in Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.” When God delivered Lot and his family out of Sodom and Gomorrah He told them in Gen. 19:17, “Do not look behind you…”

God was telling them that everything they needed to live a good life was ahead of them. Lot’s wife ignored this command, looked back, and instantly was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot’s wife lost her future because she looked back.

There is a reason the windshield of your car is bigger than the rear view mirror. God wants you focused so much on what’s ahead of you that you don’t even notice what’s going on behind you. Isaiah 43:18,19a says, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall you not know it?”

You cannot pursue your future if there is something still tying you to your past. Satan is a thief and he is after your dream. He wants you stuck in the past so you’ll never move forward. He’s hoping that you will lose your future by looking back.

The good news is that God sees you as a world overcomer (1 John 5:1,4). Your faith will overcome every attack from the enemy, including negative thoughts and memories from your past. Remember Lot’s wife. Don’t look back, always look forward.

----------

However, When hard times come, believe that something good will come out it and that good things are just around the corner.

The last thing you want to do is give up because winners never quit and quitters never win. Below is a very emotional video I would like you to watch called "When You Are Hopeless".

#BeInspired



*** Written by Randall Brewer ***



THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Christianity Under Attack, The Church Undefeated



It is unarguably true that Christianity, in recent times, is under fierce attack. What was once fit for theatrics in the cinemas has found its way to the church and while the pulpit is mute, the pew is pleased.

Pastors commit adultery with church members or their choristers; a church leader who reveals the secrets of members while ‘communicating with God’ through a mobile phone; praise section gone astray with choirs demonstrating bizarre dance moves and sensual waist jiggling to exalt something or someone but not God.

And here you have it: Christianity lays bare at the altar of infamy? God forbids!

Who then do we worship? What have we believed? Certainly, not the Gospel of Christ that tells us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and desire no friendship with the world… (Titus 2:11-12; James 4:4).

Evidently, by their fruits you know them (Matthew 7:15-20) – disguised in elegant apparels with eloquent speeches that rouses emotions, cheered by a credulous congregation – ambassadors of anarchy whose sole ministry is to glorify all that is ignoble.

To admit perplexity to such prevalent despondency in human disposition and monstrosity that has crept into the church would amount to sheer sarcasm. It was foretold that in the last days:

“Many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10-12).

People will be lovers of themselves… ungrateful, unholy… without self-control, brutal… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power…” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). And to such people, we are to have nothing to do with them.

What baffles, however, is the depth and pace at which Christians sink in a spiritual quagmire and the heightened level of influence the world wields on the ‘CHURCH’ that now takes an unrecognizable shape against the purpose and plan of God and of Christ, its Head.

What then can one say about these things? Nothing more than what the Scriptures say: these are signs of the last days and “there is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof, are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25; 14:12).

This appalling reality saddens, knowing that such tolerance in the church waters down the authenticity of believers’ creed (but not the Gospel of Christ), and portrays Christians as hypocrites in the eyes of the unregenerate world that seeks justification to malign our conviction in the work of the Cross.

Hence, the earnestness lies on every genuine, born-again believer of Christ to stand and live for and by the truth; contending earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).

Louder than ever is the call for due diligence in our commitment and devotion to God so the testimonies of our faith amount not to falsehood.

And we are to be neither weary nor slack in faith, knowing that “the truth of the Gospel may for a time be cast down in the street and be kept under in a measure… yet, extinguished it cannot be since He who is the Truth has said, that ‘heaven and earth shall pass away, but that His Words shall not pass away’” – John Wycliffe.

Though Christianity is under attack within and without, the true Church of God is undefeated. The gate of hell cannot prevail. No, certainly, it never can prevail.

Therefore beloved brethren, keep watch and be not of this world because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. (Matthew 24:42).

Keep watch and hold on to your confession till the very end (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). Continue in the words of Christ which is the Truth, and the truth shall indeed set you free (John 8:30-32).

*** Written by Michael Olajubu alias Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Give Up The World, Christ To Obtain




Give up the world, Christ to obtain,
He is your heart’s very need;
What else can you desire or seek?
All things are empty indeed!

He is so rich, He is so full,
He can fulfill all your needs!
He is so good, He is so sweet,
All your desire He exceeds!

Give up the world, Christ to obtain,
He is the One you require;
Once you receive this glorious Christ,
Never the rest you’ll desire.

Though very great is all the world,
And very small is your heart,
Yet the great world with all its wealth
Never can fill your small heart.

If you have Christ, you have all joys;
Without this Christ, only pains;
Where there is Christ there morning is;
Where He is not, night remains.


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Embrace The Change




Dear Friends,

Has life gotten you down lately? Have things broken that weren't supposed to break? Out of necessity are you doing something today when you should be doing something else? Trust me, I know how you feel.

I now want you to put your thinking cap on so you can best understand what I’m about to say. Ready? Okay, here it is: “One thing that will never change is that there will always be change.”

Change happens to everybody! This you can depend on. Just take a picture of yourself once every ten years and then compare them. The changes stick out like a sore thumb. Yes, change is a certainty.

For the born-again believers, this is exciting news. If things are going well for you then rejoice because things will change and can get better. After all, we go from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

On the other hand, if you’re in the midst of a trial you can believe for a turnaround to bring a positive change into your life. Believing for change causes us to rise up in the midst of a stormy trial and boldly proclaim, “this too shall pass.”

Nothing stays the same for very long. The sun rises in the east and before you know it, it’s setting in the west. Change happens! No matter what’s going on in your life, whether good or bad, things can always get better.

We need to get up each morning believing that today will be better than yesterday. Don’t get discouraged believing your situation will never change. Don’t let the enemy convince you that things will remain as they are from this day forward.

No, one thing that will never change is that there will always be change.

Enjoy the above short motivational video called "Life" and readjust your thoughts because things are beginning to turn around for your good.

The positive change you require is on the way. God bless!

** From Randall Brewer **


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Wishing You A Happy Easter




For sake of the risen King
And the joy that Easter brings:

May your darkness depart
And good vibes fill your heart,
For Christ has conquered death
May you enjoy rebirth.

From The Truth Media family,
Happy Easter!
Happy New Month!!


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

In The Mood Of Easter




Easter, for every true believer of Jesus Christ, should not only symbolize a time of soul searching, sober reflection and examination of our walk with the Lord but should also represent a time of sincere gratitude.

This gratitude associated with Easter is one that springs from the knowledge of the greatest gift of love exhibited at Calvary and made manifest in the person of Jesus Christ our Saviour and King.

To suppose that Easter is a season of mere merriment and one of those holidays to evince religiousness would amount to spiritual shortsightedness.

The world was lost in sin and sadness, destined for doom but God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). And nothing more encapsulates the message of Easter than this.

We actually have nothing to prove to God as reasons for being alive. Not by works but by grace are we saved (Ephesians 2:5,8) and as believers, the least of what is expected of us is complete surrendering of all to God, our souls obliged to worship and our hearts opened for Jesus to reign.

Easter should awaken the thirst for revival and hunger for sanctification. It should lead us back to the Cross, kneeling at the feet of Jesus to be washed and renowned in the blood of the Lamb. It should spur the church to action towards making disciples of nations and should rejuvenate our love for God, our Maker and Jesus Christ, our Lord.

It is understandable that taking up the cross to follow Christ is and has not been easy. And with all candidness from experiential knowledge as you should have, walking with the Lord wasn't meant to be easy. For a walk of faith is often on a path of fear.

But adversity should in no way deter the believer whose hope and guide is the Lord. We may be pressed from all sides but not defeated, mocked but not desolate, made object of hostility but not dispirited. Because for every casting down we face, there is a lifting up from the Lord.

Therefore, if no true transformation occurred in our lives during last year’s Easter, let’s not miss a time like this to reconcile with God and make our lives a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him (Romans 12:1-2).

Our justification through faith in the death of Christ should compel incorruptible reverence to Him. And in knowing that our salvation is sealed with the Holy Spirit through the resurrection of Christ, this calls for gratitude.

Gratitude, gratitude and grateful should we be for all the Lord has done for us. And there is no better time to show it than now, this Easter.

From The Truth Media family, Happy Easter!

*** Written by Michael Olajubu alias Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***



THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Don’t Go By Your Feelings



God gave you feelings and you should never be ashamed of them. They can alert you to danger and give you insights into various situations.

God actually uses our feelings to draw us closer to Him and highlights areas in our lives that need to be submitted to His Holy Spirit. But feelings are subjective; you can’t always trust them.

One counselor says: ‘When old feelings creep back in we feel fearful, ashamed, hopeless, not good enough, unloved, victimized, helpless and resentful… An event can trigger these reactions … ending a relationship, stress, problems at work and at home, times of change or illness … and sometimes these feelings return for no reason.’

So you must ‘test your feelings’, otherwise you’ll end up living … ‘a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God’ (Colossians 3:5 TM).

It can be disastrous to act on what you see, hear and feel. Instead of reacting to feelings, you must learn to act on what God’s Word says. That’s the gold standard, and it never changes! For instance, even if you feel like you can walk on water, you can only do it if God has called you to step out of the boat.

Paul says, ‘…my prayer is that you …abound …in knowledge and …insight… that you may be able to discern what is best…’ (Philippians 1:9-10 NIV).

This is the bottom line: you are not defined by your feelings; you are defined by what God says about you. You may feel worthless, but God says, ‘…You are precious to Me … I love you’ (Isaiah 43:4 NLT). You may feel like a failure but God says, ‘There is… no condemnation for those… in Christ (Romans 8:1 NIV).


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Boasting Or Belittling



We all know how painful it is to be forced to listen to a confirmed boaster sound off on his favourite topic - himself. To be the captive of such a man even for a short time tries our patience to the utmost and puts a heavy strain upon our Christian charity.

Boasting is particularly offensive when it is heard among the children of God, the one place above all others where it should never be found. Yet it is quite common among Christians, though disguised somewhat by the use of the stock expression, “I say this to the glory of God.”

Some boasters appear to feel a bit self-conscious, and apologize meekly for their outbursts of self-praise. Others have accepted themselves as being all their doting relatives and friends claim they are, and habitually speak of themselves in reverent terms, as if their superiority was a matter of common knowledge too well established to require proof. Such a one was the concert singer who replied to a glowing compliment after a performance, “Well, what did you expect?”

God is very patient with His children and often tolerates in them carnal traits so gross as to shock their fellow Christians. But that is only for a while. As more light comes to our hearts, and especially as we go on to new and advanced spiritual experiences, God begins to impose disciplines upon us to purge us from the same faults He tolerated before. Then He permits us to say and do things that react unfavourably against us and expose our vanity for what it is.

It may then happen in the providential will of God that the very gift we have boasted of may be lost to us or the project we are so proud of will fail. After we have learned our lesson the Lord may restore what He has taken away, for He is more concerned with our souls than with our service. But sometimes our boasting permanently hurts us and excludes us from blessings we might have enjoyed.

Another habit not quite so odious is Belittling ourselves. This might seem to be the exact opposite of boasting, but actually it is the same old sin travelling under a nom de plume. It is simply egoism trying to act spiritual. It is impatient Saul hastily offering an unacceptable sacrifice to the Lord.

Self-derogation is bad for the reason that self must be there to derogate. Self, whether swaggering or groveling, can never be anything but hateful to God.

Boasting is an evidence that we are pleased with self; belittling, that we are disappointed in it. Either way we reveal that we have a high opinion of ourselves. The belittler is chagrined that one as obviously superior as he should not have done better, and he punishes himself by making uncomplimentary remarks about himself. That he does not really mean what he says may be proved quite easily. Let someone else say the same things. His eager defense of himself will reveal how he feels and has secretly felt all the time.

The victorious Christian neither exalts nor downgrades himself. His interests have shifted from self to Christ. What he is or is not no longer concerns him. He believes that he has been crucified with Christ and he is not willing either to praise or deprecate such a man.

Yet the knowledge that he has been crucified is only half the victory. “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Christ is now where the man’s ego was formerly. The man is now Christ-centered instead of self-centered, and he forgets himself in his delighted preoccupation with Christ.

Candour compels me to acknowledge that it is a lot easier to write about this than it is to live it. Self is one of the toughest plants that grow in the garden of life. It is, in fact, indestructible by any human means. Just when we are sure it is dead it turns up somewhere as robust as ever to trouble our peace and poison the fruit of our lives.

Yet there is deliverance. When our judicial crucifixion becomes actual the victory is near; and when our faith rises to claim the risen life of Christ as our own the triumph is complete. The trouble is that we do not receive the benefits of all this until something radical has happened in our own experience, something which in its psychological effects approaches actual crucifixion.

What Christ went through we also must go through. Rejection, surrender, loss, a violent detachment from the world, the pain of social ostracism - all must be felt in our actual experience.


Where we have failed is in the practical application of the teaching concerning the crucified life. Too many have been content to be armchair Christians, satisfied with the theology of the cross.

Plainly, Christ never intended that we should rest in a mere theory of self-denial. His teaching identified His disciples with Himself so intimately that they would have had to be extremely dull not to have understood that they were expected to experience very much the same pain and loss as He Himself did.

The healthy soul is the victorious soul and victory never comes while self is permitted to remain unjudged and uncrucified. While we boast or belittle we may be perfectly sure that the cross has not yet done its work within us. Faith and obedience will bring the cross into the life and cure both habits.

** Written by Aiden Wilson Tozer (A.W. Tozer) **
*** From the Book - "Man: The Dwelling Place of God" ***


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