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The Joy of Death

• Greg Boyd

The Bible teaches us that no one can serve two masters. We will despise one and serve the other. The Christian message is that we must die in order to live. We must set aside our own way of doing life and take up Christ’s way. Greg described what it means to stop serving ourselves and start serving God with our whole lives.

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If you want to see God do extraordinary things in your life, you have to be willing to be an extraordinary person. Move outside your comfort zone.

The joy of God is inside you, as believers, and the question is “How much of that joy are you going to manifest in your life?” Get yourself out of the way (through fasting, etc.) to get closer to God.

Matthew, Chapter 21, Verse 9: The crowds that went ahead of Him [Jesus] had shouted “ Hosanna, the Son of David…” – crowds are fickle: you’re hot, then you’re not. One minute the crowd loves Jesus, the next they are turning on him (because he didn’t use his miracles to free people from the Romans).

The Flesh – A way of living, attitude, system of behavior where you are boss, not God. Genesis Chapter 3 – Where the serpent lied to Eve (Hey, I deserve to get mine!). The here and now – The carnal mind, old self mindset that is consistent with the pattern of this world, the fall. Inconsistent with who you are and who God is.

Center of the flesh ? Self (all about me, me, me!) Needs not met by God. Your joy should come from God, but when you are in the flesh, you turn towards the world to meet your needs, like animals.

Bottom line for the flesh, the self: What’s in it for me? Self-centered not God-centered. Carnal mind drives the world.

Problem – The Flesh can appear really good or righteous. E.g.- “I like the Bible because it meets my needs” Jesus as “fire insurance” to save me. E.g. -What Jesus can do for you.

1st Century people wanted Jesus to meet their needs. When this didn’t happen, people didn’t want anything to do with him. *Jesus didn’t come to be a need-meeter. Nice house, nice clothes, nice Jesus idea. Reality ? Jesus came to set us free from ourselves.

Jesus ? My kingdom is not of this world (the flesh). Are we going to follow him or expect him to fit into the fleshly patterns of our lives? Jesus expects revolutionary thinking. Sacrifice not self! We should revolve around Jesus.

Jesus came to set us free from addiction to ourselves. He came to put the flesh to death (Cor. Revolution) and turn to God! Put to death the self in order to be greed, regenerated, but the flesh often rebels because of court it doesn’t want to give up all the “self stuff”.

Bible ? If you lose your life, you gain it. Death to Self is freedom. Live to give glory to God, not to Self as an idol. Stop trying to live on your own and you really discover what life is really about. Concentrating on self veils your eyes so you cannot see God – too enveloped in the mirror.

Romans 6: Paul ? There’s no freedom like dying to Self. “ It’s no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives within me”. If life comes from God, none of the other stuff is going to really impact you. All of your problems are small compared to the bigness of God.

** So, Why are we believers? Is it because God does A,B & C for you? Is it all about giving stuff to you? It’s so much more than that fleshly mindset. So, put yourself aside and stop clinging to the things of this world.

There is a peace when you say, “I give up!” I am a spirit-filled being! Less of me, and more of you God! Hard to do the “spiritual splits” between the flesh and God. So, stop living for Self, but live for God. Freedom comes from dying to the Self. God wants for you to love Him no matter what the world dishes out.

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