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April Betner Ministries
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Impact: Die to Yourself

January 9, 2017




 I often hear people say “I’m living my truth.”  What does that mean though?  More importantly, what does that mean for the life of the Believer?  For CHRISTians, isn’t truth Absolute?  Isn’t TRUTH a person--personified in CHRIST Jesus?  For us, Truth isn’t relative...Jesus is the way, the TRUTH and the life.  That said, this line of thinking begs the question(s): 1.What does “I’m living in MY truth mean?”  2. Are you willing to abandon YOUR truth for HIS Truth? #dietoyourself #crucifiedwithChrist 


Here’s my take on the issue.  To put it quite simply-- WE don’t want to suffer with Him anymore and that is a sad reality.  We have come a long way from the martyrs of the early church who literally gave their lives for the sake of Christ and did it publicly and joyfully.  We won't risk our "happiness" our "comfort" our "money" or our "popularity" for the sake and cause of Christ.  This reality is enough to make the Church fathers turn over in their graves.  




Listen, Jesus never promised that this journey as his disciples, as his followers,  would be easy, in fact--He preached quite the opposite.  Jesus taught that in order to be a disciple one must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).  Jesus preached that true discipleship means you are signing up to be hated by the world (Matthew 10:22).  Jesus preached that true follow-ship of Jesus means hating your father, mother, sister, brother for the sake and cause of Christ(Luke 14:26).  Jesus didn't hold any punches!  He was very transparent and put it all out on the table.  Following Jesus will essentially cost you everything! However, somewhere along the line the church has adopted this notion of happiness and comfort over obedience and true discipleship.  It is this line of thinking that causes us to accept this concept of "living my truth" even if/when that truth is in direct opposition to biblical truths and principles.  We cling to this delusion even when it drastically contradicts to the life, mission and message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  





The cost of discipleship is weighty, but Christ promised us that it would be worth it in eternity.  The bottom line is, many of us as Christians have become too comfortable with the things of the world.  We don’t want to say “No!” to our flesh anymore.  Therefore, we search for loopholes in Scripture, we use bad theology or worse we navigate life primarily based on our emotions (which are flighty, temporary and can’t be trusted) all to justify our decision to pursue happiness over holiness.  




Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t dogma--I’m not saying Holiness or Hell.  Listen...I believe that we are all broken and equal at the foot of the Cross.  We all have sinned and have fallen short of His glory.  We all are in desperate need for salvation, redemption and grace on top of grace! There is no argument there!

  We all should accept and come to grips with the reality of our own brokenness in the face of a HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, AND JUST GOD. We all should confront sin in our lives but we should never submit to it as if it is our God.  We should never embrace it and the sinful pleasure it brings and call that "living my truth".  But rather we should submit to the one who has the power to save, heal, deliver, and restore us.  He alone has the power to make us whole.  Jesus came to save us from the power and penalty of sin and He has the power to keep us by His grace, through the power of His Holy Spirit--even in our broken and messed up state.  I’m floored that so many who bear the name of Christ are no longer sold out for Him.  We’ve become lovers of ourselves. We esteem our thoughts, feelings, opinions, politics, attractions, sexuality, desires etc so highly that they become our God.  We aren’t yielding to the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD, but we have allowed these other idols to take precedence in our lives. 





Friend, Jesus didn’t save you so you could be happy!  He saved you so you wouldn’t go to hell!  He saved you from sin, death and the grave.  He saved you so you could know what abundant life is--that’s life free from the clutch and grip and the full gamut of sin's penalty(both in this life and the one to come)!  That’s the power of the Gospel--its not happiness guys! You think the Apostle Paul was happy?--He wrote most of the New Testament Epistles from PRISON!!!  He spent much of his ministry in fear for his life!  The jail and the dungeon were his second home--yet he spoke from a place of pure JOY--not to be confused with happiness!  This walk is not about happiness but about holiness--realizing that it is God’s joy that in fact is our strength!


Listen,  I’m not saying that you’ve got to live perfect or be perfect.  That’s not my argument.  I am proposing that we all should live out our faith with fear and trembling before a HOLY and REVERENT GOD who has called us to walk as children of the light.  He has called us out of darkness into HIS light. Those of us who yield to the Lord are sanctified daily as the Light of His Word shines on and in us.  So then, if we are children of the light how can we continue to fellowship with darkness (even if doing so makes us "happy"?? 




Now I can't speak for you, but for me... personally: My relationship with God is not rooted in a feeling-its rooted in Scripture, Theology, Love, Conviction married to my experience with Him as Savior and Lord.  Scripture, Doctrine and Theology help put parameters around my experience in my walk with the Lord.  These things keep me grounded and prevent me from getting caught up in emotionalism and feelings and living out my faith solely based on what looks good, feels good, or brings me happiness.  My walk is one that trumps happiness...it fills me with love, joy and priceless peace of mind that comes with being in the Will of God.   Choosing God's TRUTH over mine causes me to win every time!   


This Gospel is not a Gospel of Convenience.  It is not self-centered and humanistic.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ where He is central and His Will is paramount.  True Follow-ship, true Discipleship of Jesus Christ requires an understanding of this reality and a willingness to die daily for the sake and cause of Jesus Christ.






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