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A Christian prays that his enemy will see the sinfulness of his actions and repent towards God for his actions. It is not that a Christian does not have feelings of hate or thoughts of vengeance but he denies these feelings and thoughts because he is has been forgiven by God and is a child of God. The Christian knows His Heavenly parent see all things and judges all things fairly. A Christian is also called to examine his own heart to see he has sinned and caused the conflict with someone else.

God is able to overcome circumstances that seem impossible to the world by His supernatural Spirit. And the battle plan that destroyed Jericho called for priests and the Jewish people to circle the walls of the city for seven day, singing praise songs to God while blowing shofars. And the paradox of a successful life of faith in the Old Testament is echoed in the New Testament. Jesus came to serve others, not be served Matthew And in the same way, a Christian is to follow the example of Jesus and serve others in Jesus name.

Yes, God gives comfort and healing to those who come to Him but the purpose of that comfort and healing is so that when you are comforted by God, you will go and comfort others, telling them about the source of your comfort 2 Corinthians The paradox of the Christian life is that our joy is found in serving others, not being served by others.

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Despair when seen through the lens of Christian paradox is a really a blessing that introduces you to the limits of the world, the flesh and the Devil and the limitlessness of God. Despair is a gift, that reveals life for what it really is … a place of no hope, except for the Hope of God that is found in Christ Jesus.

Jesus, explains that He did not come to build a Kingdom of peace on earth at this time but He came to build the Kingdom of peace with God in Heaven! Jesus is saying that you must put your allegiance to God above your allegiance to your family members. Adam was the first man of self and sin, while Christ is the second man of God, perfect and Spirit filled.

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Like Butch and Sundance, we face two options that both lead to death. It is through this strange paradox of dying to self that Jesus says we find life. The first step in the journey of dying to live is to maximize Christ in you life. When you maximize a window on your computer screen, the image fills the screen and other windows or images are hidden. Other windows may be open for easy access, but your attention is focused on whatever you have maximized to fill the screen.

In this passage, Jesus makes it perfectly clear that we are following Him. Christ is the focus. Our eyes are to be fixed on Him Heb.

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Our minds are to be set on Him Col. Jesus is our great and glorious Savior who is worthy of worship and worthy of our best attention and affection.

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That is maximizing the Savior. Recognizing the greatness of Christ who is the life-giving Savior is the first step in the journey into Christ-honoring discipleship. The second is to minimize self as we seek to follow Christ. This concept is difficult to practice for several reasons. First, we struggle with the spiritual perception. Obviously, Jesus is referring to spiritual concepts not physically carrying an instrument of capital punishment around with you all the time. Jesus is not advocating denying basic needs necessary to maintain physical life.


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We are dominated by materialism, not so much the accumulating of stuff, as much as the inability to see spiritual things. Second, we struggle with this concept of dying to self because we are selfish! We fight against the lordship of Christ. We falsely believe that we could do a better job with our life than trusting His plan. Jesus has what we desperately desire, but we keep seeking to satisfy our selfish desires through worldly lust instead of through humble submission Christ.

But, only through surrender can we experience all that Jesus offers. He said by seeking Him first we can expect to receive all the other things we desire Matt. By grace through faith we acknowledge the lordship of Christ and abandon our futile attempts to build a satisfying life without Christ. The reference about loving your mother and father more than Christ does not suggest that Christians forsake their responsibility to care for aging parents; rather Jesus is illustrating that what He offers enables you to love with a far greater capacity.

Married couples who understand this concept of seeking Christ first will experience a beautiful, wonderful, and fulfilling marriage as God intended. Loving Christ with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, will make you a better spouse and raise your marriage to a greater level of intimacy. Notice a third characteristic of Christ-honoring discipleship is energized service. Following Christ is not a passive lifestyle, nor is it just a sanctified resignation.

We are not just eliminating desires; following Christ is igniting devotion. Spiritual surrender is not resignation. We are not called to embrace Buddhism, which consist of emptying oneself of all desire to achieve perfect nothingness. Christ-like surrender should not be confused with just quitting bad stuff, but it is allowing God to transform your life with new desires, new mercy, new life, and new songs to sing in your new heart. This presentation is a passionate choice not a passive concession.

SPIRITUAL PARADOX IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

By dying to live, you too can know the joy of resurrection. Selected pages Title Page. Table of Contents. Contents ChapTEr Two. Common terms and phrases a. Bibliographic information. Christian Life.

Ultimate Paradox! DYING IS LIVING! (die to self for Jesus and live or live to self and die)

Spiritual Growth. ChapTEr Two. ChapTEr Four. ChapTEr nInE.