When We Give Ourselves Away

"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. ...As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:1-2, 10)

After we have been made into new creations in Christ and God is having His way in our lives, we must see that there is a purpose to Him molding and shaping us after His image. Our Lord has made us into vessels of honor that are now fit for the Master's use so that we may accomplish His greater purpose. This is where we must learn how to give ourselves away for that which is eternal, glorifies God, and benefits others.

We need to learn what Paul writes to the church in 2 Corinthians 4:10-11, "For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you."

So here is THE DIVINE PRINCIPLE: When we give ourselves away, we make a way for Christ’s life to be given.

O how important it is that we learn to get over ourselves so that others can get to Christ.
1John 3:16 says, "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

Peter held onto his life when he failed Jesus by falling asleep as He prayed, when he fled from Jesus as He was led away to be crucified, and when he later denied Jesus three times that same night. He knew that he had failed and committed sins like so many who are caught up in things of this world. He writes, "For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries." He ends this thought with saying that we should "live according to God in the spirit" (1 Peter 4:3,6).

So how do we practically give ourselves away for the cause of Christ?

Imminence - How you spend time for eternity
Intercession - How you bring others to God
Influence - How you invest in others now
Intentionality - How you purposefully build the church and use your gifts
Peter reminds us that time is winding down and we need to be looking up. He knew the Lord said that He would come again "quickly" so He is urging the believers to know the new identity that we have been given in Christ and to be living in light of the truth that Christ can come for us at any time.

He builds on this thought when he says, "But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers" (1 Peter 4:7). We need to be fully aware that our old life has been crucified with Christ and we have Christ living in us now. We need to be on guard since the enemy is trying to trip us up as he seeks to lull us to sleep or allure us toward sin. We also need to see our God-given opportunities to serve and bless others each day. When we are faithfully seeing what is before us, then we can take what is before us and bring it up before Him.

The highest level of living is when we are living for that which Christ died for and will last for all eternity. Thus we need give ourselves away for the sake of others. This is why Peter says, "And above all things, have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” We are called to love those who are different from us, difficult to us, and even determined to work against us and oppose us.

We can only give our lives away, as we deny our selves and are filled with the Spirit. We must see that the command to love and live like Jesus can only happen as we allow Christ to first have His way in our lives. Jesus said, "Apart from Me, you can do nothing" (John 15:5) but He also said that with Him, "all things were possible."

We have the opportunity to use our will to submit to God's will so that we can influence others for what pleases and glorifies Him. There are many ways for us to love people selflessly and sacrificially and practically. After we receive Christ's love, we respond by first opening our hearts, and then opening of our arms to show compassion, and we move to opening our homes to welcome others. Thus, we are called to show hospitality to all people, to use our gifts to build up others, and to speak and minister within the church by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The church is a holy bride. Now we don't attend the bride, but we tend to the bride. We don't visit the body, we value and build up the body. We don't just show up at a building, but we grow up and start building others in Christ. In whatever way the Lord calls us to give ourselves away, we can be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit who always makes a way for us.

As 2 Corinthians 13:4 says, "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

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