North Anderson Baptist Church
Giving Up Your Life
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Vance Havner said in his book, “Playing With Diamonds,” “Our Lord never put discipleship in fine print in the contract. He called on us to forsake all, take up our cross, deny self, love Him more than anything else. We are not our own, we are bought with a price, the personal property of Jesus Christ with no right to anything. “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”

When you consider all that God has said about Jesus and through Him, as well as Paul and the other authors of the Bible, we can discern that every Christian has a specific mission. We are to choose Jesus Christ as the first and foremost priority of our life. As believers we are to put nothing before Him and whatever the cost we are to reorder our lives and deny self and follow Him. That is difficult to do, but it is imperative that we do it to be the disciple God calls us to be.
Matthew Henry, the famous Bible commentator, lived his whole life in the light of a little creed taught to him by his godly father:
I take God the Father to be my God;
I take God the Son to be my Savior;
I take the Holy Ghost to be my Sanctifier;
I take the Word of God to be my rule;
I take the people of God to be my people;
And I do hereby dedicate and yield
My whole self to the Lord;
And I do this deliberately, freely,
And forever, Amen.
Robert J. Morgan, “On This Day”
Both of these passages tell us that to be the disciple that God has called us to be, we must be willing to follow Jesus Christ at any cost to our lives. This is not easy, it is difficult to put everything in your life “behind” Jesus and what He desires for us to be and do. Both of these verses talk of denying ourselves to follow Him. What does that really mean. Jesus is basically saying here that putting Christ first will realign your life with priorities that center on Him. Being human and basically self-centered, it is hard to comprehend this principle of Christianity, much less accomplish the task. God is not saying that you never do anything for yourself or for your family but to remember that if God is to be your LORD, then He and all He has claim to, which is your life, should be considered first. While seeking to fulfill this in our lives we must realize how the decisions of your life affect Christ and your relationship to Him.
You can not do this alone without the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you. He is the guide for all believers and when you call on Him to help, He is there for you. Are you putting Christ and His Word to you, on the back shelf until you get your life straightened out and then you will pull Him off the shelf while figuring out how to put Him into your structured life? According to the scripture, God would rather have us say, “Lord you are first and what you want is first and then I will fit all that I need within your plan for my life.”

We are to reorder and sometimes eliminate the things in our life that might not fit into God’s plan for us. In reality, how do we accomplish this? First, through prayer you are to find out what God wants from you. The Holy Spirit is the agent of revelation for each of us in regards to what God’s plan is and when you diligently seek God with all your heart, He promises to faithfully reveal that plan to you.
When you “take up your cross” you are to die to self and live for Christ. The cross was an instrument of death and to take one up for yourself is to die to self. One can not follow Christ as God has designed if you are not willing to die to self for Christ. Following Christ then is a process of dying and finding a new life. I have told you this before, one of the first verses that I memorized was 2 Corinthians 5:17,
When Paul wrote this he was telling us that when we are saved we have new life in Christ, we are different, the old life we lived is gone and the creation that Jesus has made is full of the Holy Spirit, able to do whatever it takes to be like Jesus.

The old things just don’t mean what they used to for the believer. You have a new desire to be like the Lord and because of Christ, the old means less and less to the believer.

This next scripture will help you see that Paul, who accomplished much in his life before Jesus changed his heart, now tells us the truth about all that he used to be and do, now Paul states he no longer counts those things worth anything in comparison to the Lord Jesus.
Can you, will you, look back at all those things in your life that were not of the Lord and call them worthless garbage as Paul did so that you too might know Christ and only Christ? When we hang on to the past or things which we have done to gain status or reputation or for pride, we can’t follow Christ in the way in which He has called us. So we must let go of things and experiences and give Christ first place in our lives. As a disciple of the Lord, our lives need to be lived for Him, we give up our lives for Jesus. It is costly to walk as a committed disciple of Jesus Christ. Others won’t understand and some will criticize you for your “going overboard with this Christianity thing.”
What are some things that get in the way of becoming that committed disciple of Jesus Christ?
Pride
Family
Job
Church
Sin
Selfishness
Things we possess that possess us
There has to be some hard decisions to be made if we are to do what Jesus asks of those who say they follow Him. Remember Jesus said, 25 “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
Suppose you purchased a whole house, and the former owner came to you with the keys. There are twelve rooms in the house and he gives you six of the keys. You say, “Where are the other keys?” “Oh,” he says, “you can’t have them! There is a room on the second floor you can’t have, and there is a room on the third floor and a room on the fourth floor you can’t have, and there is a dark place in the attic you can’t have, but here are the keys for the others.”
You say: “I purchased the whole house, and I want all the keys, or I don’t want any of them.”
(Christ) will take everything from cellar to attic - all the keys to all your affections, all your hopes, all your ambitions, all our heart, all your life, or He will not take one key...
This is a very sensitive subject we present to each of you today, Jesus calls for some very hard things for us to do if we want to follow Him. Notice, if you want to keep all those things in your life that matter so much to you and put them before Jesus, you can! Yes you can! But you forfeit your very life when it comes to having that relationship God wants you to have with Him. People can be so successful and have so much, or they can just love things so much more than Jesus that they just can’t give them up and yet they lose their very soul. You have exchanged your eternal soul for physical benefits and pleasures. You chose the wrong priorities in life and they will keep you from the One who has saved your very soul from eternal damnation.

We all have choices, some are temporal and some are eternal, don’t mix them up and make the wrong choice by choosing yourself over God.
Christian, our Savior and Lord is calling us to make the decision that will place us on the path of true discipleship, self-sacrifice for the Lord Jesus. For the unbeliever your choice is clear: Christ and eternity with the Father or everlasting separation from the God who made you. His love for you is so clear, He sent His only Son Jesus to be born on this earth and be a man so that He might die in your place, for your sin, so you can have a choice: to surrender your life to the Father and be born again or keep your life and die in your sin.

Decisions, decisions! Yours today are real. Follow Jesus as a true disciple making everything else secondary to Jesus. For the unbeliever, Give Jesus all you are, surrendering your life and heart to Him who is waiting to apply His death to your sin. It is your choice today!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com