The Dichotomy of Self-giving

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

Isaiah 58 has long been a favorite, teaching of a true fast that delights the LORD. The way of Christ is subversive in our culture; losing life to save it is a dichotomy. Loosening the bonds of wickedness, feeding the oppressed, caring for the needy are all acts that get me out of the way. Spending self for others in Jesus’s name is costly, but rich in treasure. Self-effort gets us tripped up on counting, accomplishing, and we end up asking, “Why have we humbled ourselves and you take no knowledge of it?”

But true self-giving is self-forgetting, turning back from our own pleasure, own agendas, idle talk, to delight in the LORD and pour out ourselves. Only then shall “your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. You shall ride on the heights of the earth. Your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”

Guatemalan child, Cissie Cargill

Lord, I know giving, praying, fasting are to be hidden, unnoticed by others, seen only by You in secret. May my delight in You be genuine. May I set my mind and heart on things above, and lose my life, expending myself, as Jesus did, for Your sake. Matthew 6:3,6,17-18,20-21; Colossians 3:1-2; Matthew 10:39

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