My Utmost Notes – Jan. 8

January 8th
January 8th

‘It’s a trap!” – Admiral Ackbar

How to “loosen the bands that hold back our lives.” – Oswald Chambers

This is a lightbulb moment in the life of many Christians, because identification with the death of Jesus can be a confusing trap. It confused Peter in Luke 22:33-34, and God “purified Abraham from this error” in Genesis 22. It confuses me often.

When I think “die every day” (1 Corinthians 15:31, Luke 9:23) means to give up stuff, I miss the mark, and fall in a  trap of hopelessness. Giving things up to try and please Jesus is as hopeless as the crucifixion without Sunday morning.

It’s what happens after the sacrifice that clarifies. Jesus reconciled us to himself through death, (Colossians 1:22), and afterwards he gave us the Holy Spirit. What happens after I give things up? New bad habits? Bitterness or guilt because I fall off the wagon? Not if my sacrifice is powered by its connection to the love of Jesus, and his death and new life for me.

In light of the love of Jesus, and the cross, and the forgiveness of my sin, daily sacrifice is joyful, and even the most difficult trials are not without sustaining hope.

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I’m spending this week sharing notes from my daily time in My Utmost for His Highest. If this is a benefit to you, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

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