Thursday, September 27, 2018

Reflection - Letting Christ Live in Us - Consecrate ourselves to God

Source (book): "Finding rest for the soul", Chapter Ten, Question 3, Page 162.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Why is important to consecrate our body and all areas of our lives to God?
PHOTO: Why is important to consecrate our body and all areas of our lives to God?
It is when we surrender every part of our body and every area of our lives to Christ that we become His hands, feet, voice, and ears. This is the "true and proper worship" that Paul writes about as he urges his readers "to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" (Romans 12:1). In the same vein, the apostle also tells us, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness" (Romans 6:12-13).

How can we do this on a regular basis?
Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century monk, wrote about how we can consecrate all our bodily parts to Jesus in a practical manner, committing ourselves to use them as instruments for the Lord:

If the appetite alone hath sinned, let it alone fast, and it sufficeth. But if the other members also have sinned, why should they not fast, too . . . Let the eye fast from strange sights and from every wantonness, so that that which roamed in freedom in fault-doing may, abundantly humbled, be checked by penitence (regret). Let the ear, blameably eager to listen, fast from tales and rumors, and from whatsoever is of idle import, and tendeth least to salvation. Let the tongue fast from slanders and murmurings, and from useless, vain, and scurrilous words, and sometimes also, in the seriousness of silence, even from things which may seem of essential import. Let the hand abstain from . . .all toils which are not imperatively necessary. But also let the soul herself abstain from all evils and from acting out her own will. For without such abstinence the other things find no favor with the Lord.

How does Jesus use our lives to manifest himself and to touch lost and hurting people?
When every part of our body and life becomes an instrument of righteousness, it also becomes a consecrated instrument of Christ, through which He manifests His character and ministry. We will become the kind of people we were meant to be - reflecting the beauty and holiness of God, and the compassion and love of Christ.

The example of the Good Samaritan, however, shows what Jesus wants of us. He wants us to see the needs of people through the eyes of God, to let our hands became the hands of God as we help them, and to speak from our mouths the words of God as we bring comfort and hope to others. When we consecrate ourselves to Christ fully and offer ourselves to Him, He will live through us, and people will recognise Him in our lives.

That is the challenge facing us as a community of believers today - to stop serving ourselves within the cloistered walls of our church buildings and to become involved with our communities, so that we can become the instruments of our Lord and touch the lives of those who struggle and suffer around us.

Reflect prayerfully on what this means for you personally.
When we imitate Christ in word, attitude, and action, we will carry His life, character, and ministry to a watching world. In this way, Jesus will be manifested in all corners of the world, wherever His faithful disciples of Jesus live and serve. We will become little lights in the world (Matthew 5:14) as we display the Light of the world to others (John 9:5).

If we remember that we have been chosen by God to "be conformed to the image of the Son" (Romans 8:29), then we will understand why Jesus calls us to come to Him, to take up His yoke, and to learn from Him. And it is when we respond and become His apprentice that we become, in the words of C. S. Lewis, "little Christ".
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http://mylifeinheals.com/one-year-ago-may-4th-2015/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2018/03/reflection-solution-to-worn-out-lives_26.html



Why is important to consecrate our body and all areas of our lives to God? How can we do this on a regular basis? How does Jesus use our lives to manifest himself and to touch lost and hurting people? Reflect prayerfully on what this means for you personally.

Why is important to consecrate our body and all areas of our lives to God?

Consecrating Every Part of Our Lives [1]
In A Spiritual Check-Up, writer Margaret Magdalen encourages Christians to imagine entering the waters of baptism, and committing each body parts, from the feet up to the head, to a life of godly righteousness. [43]

 

Consecrating Every Part of Our Lives
PHOTO: Consecrating Every Part of Our Lives
In A Spiritual Check-Up, writer Margaret Magdalen encourages Christians to imagine entering the waters of baptism, and committing each body parts, from the feet up to the head, to a life of godly righteousness.
Picture posted by Красота gantelin - The girl falls into the water

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https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-pdb/211794/2ebb29d8-d897-4468-bc12-088ac1b50cf1/orig - (orig.gif)
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Dallas willard suggests applying this idea in a spiritual exercise:
I recommend that you then lie on the floor, face down or face up, and explicitly and formally surrender your body to God. Take time to go over the main parts of your body and do the same for each one. What you want to do is to ask God to take charge of your body and each part, to fill it with his life and use it for his purpose. [44]

 

Consecrating Every Part of Our Lives
PHOTO: Consecrating Every Part of Our Lives
Dallas willard (Renovation of the Heart) suggests lying on the floor, face down or face up, and explicitly and formally surrender our body to God. Take time to go over the main parts of our body and do the same for each one. What we want to do is to ask God to take charge of our body and each part, to fill it with his life and use it for his purpose.
Picture posted by Ksenia Mazko - photo, Valet.ru
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qfFPcmznU8I/W6zL-EPQD0I/AAAAAAAArho/ha5E50Oqy2ALQXwZKZBXAI1G_n4c8UnhgCLcBGAs/s1600/tLnbtEwrYUY-1.jpg
https://pp.userapi.com/c840625/v840625164/2204/tLnbtEwrYUY.jpg
http://valet.ru/user/252301693/



It is when we surrender every part of our body and every area of our lives to Christ that we become His hands, feet, voice, and ears. This is the "true and proper worship" that Paul writes about as he urges his readers "to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" (Romans 12:1). In the same vein, the apostle also tells us, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness" (Romans 6:12-13).



It is when we surrender every part of our body and every area of our lives to Christ that we become His hands, feet, voice, and ears.
PHOTO: It is when we surrender every part of our body and every area of our lives to Christ that we become His hands, feet, voice, and ears. This is the "true and proper worship" that Paul writes about. "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness" (Romans 6:12-13).
Picture posted by UB David & I'll B Jonathan
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t8Ag2rlqv4g/W6zL8JMZgEI/AAAAAAAArhE/O-EloRlwjAA9kQGQDTq3fEwpZ5tTuBLUgCLcBGAs/s1600/16_consecration-as-alive.jpg
http://ubdavid.org/advanced/new-life3/graphics/16_consecration-as-alive.jpg
http://ubdavid.org/advanced/new-life3/new-life3_16.html



How can we do this on a regular basis?
Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century monk, wrote about how we can consecrate all our bodily parts to Jesus in a practical manner, committing ourselves to use them as instruments for the Lord:

If the appetite alone hath sinned, let it alone fast, and it sufficeth. But if the other members also have sinned, why should they not fast, too . . . Let the eye fast from strange sights and from every wantonness, so that that which roamed in freedom in fault-doing may, abundantly humbled, be checked by penitence (regret). Let the ear, blameably eager to listen, fast from tales and rumors, and from whatsoever is of idle import, and tendeth least to salvation. Let the tongue fast from slanders and murmurings, and from useless, vain, and scurrilous words, and sometimes also, in the seriousness of silence, even from things which may seem of essential import. Let the hand abstain from . . .all toils which are not imperatively necessary. But also let the soul herself abstain from all evils and from acting out her own will. For without such abstinence the other things find no favor with the Lord. [45]

 

We are to abstain from all evils and from acting out of our own will.
PHOTO: We are to abstain from all evils and from acting out of our own will.
Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century monk, wrote about how we can consecrate all our bodily parts to Jesus in a practical manner, committing ourselves to use them as instruments for the Lord.
Picture saved from Tom Engel
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AR2ziJ99TNQ/W6zL8K29CXI/AAAAAAAArg8/YW_FFwTRr1I3qYvqmcVA0jlVTVb24u0EQCLcBGAs/s1600/1774ec38e71c77638aa862b3fac0a8f6.jpg
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https://ar.pinterest.com/pin/772437773563855875/?lp=true



How does Jesus use our lives to manifest himself and to touch lost and hurting people?
When every part of our body and life becomes an instrument of righteousness, it also becomes a consecrated instrument of Christ, through which He manifests His character and ministry. We will become the kind of people we were meant to be - reflecting the beauty and holiness of God, and the compassion and love of Christ.



When every part of our body and life becomes an instrument of righteousness, it also becomes a consecrated instrument of Christ, through which He manifests His character and ministry.
PHOTO: When every part of our body and life becomes an instrument of righteousness, it also becomes a consecrated instrument of Christ, through which He manifests His character and ministry. We will become the kind of people we were meant to be - reflecting the beauty and holiness of God, and the compassion and love of Christ.
Picture posted by Rock My Wedding

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bYI7O720vfQ/W6zL8HfzrZI/AAAAAAAArhA/HtEXBZFy2jAnnPwfsRYcDxnzlLK_DZtPwCLcBGAs/s1600/143_rmw_ed_hippie_gypsy_0613.jpg
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The scriptural prescription is an antidote to what much of modern Christianity has absorbed from the dysfunctional world. In Incarnate: The Body of Christ in an Age of Disengagement, Australian missiologist Michael Frost describes this trend as "excarnation". He explains: "Whereas Jesus Christ was God incarnate and His church was called to an incarnational lifestyle, today we find ourselves drifting toward excarnation - the defleshing of our faith. We have been moving through a disembodying process that has left us feeling rootless and disengaged, connected to our world more and more through screens rather than face to face." [46]

 

The scriptural prescription is an antidote to what much of modern Christianity has absorbed from the dysfunctional world.
PHOTO: The scriptural prescription is an antidote to what much of modern Christianity has absorbed from the dysfunctional world. Whereas Jesus Christ was God incarnate and His church was called to an incarnational lifestyle, today we find ourselves drifting toward excarnation - the defleshing of our faith. We have been moving through a disembodying process that has left us feeling rootless and disengaged, connected to our world more and more through screens rather than face to face.
Banksy's Mobile Lovers Painting by Bhanu Teja Mamidala
Picture posted by Amazon.com

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https://www.amazon.de/MOBILE-LOVERS-BANKSY-Leinwanddruck-Motiv/dp/B004ZXU3LE



Frost warns of how the church may be drifting towards a cocooned existence that has little or no impact in the world. When the church takes on the habits of the world, it risks becoming a ghostly existence; Christians can end up passing by the poor, the exploited, the sick, and the unsaved, without saying anything, hearing anything or doing anything. Like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), they fail to meet human needs because they fail to engage with people. Their hands and their feet remain un-consecrated - they belong solely to their human owners, and are used solely for their purposes and pleasure.



When the church takes on the habits of the world, it risks becoming a ghostly existence; Christians can end up passing by the poor, the exploited, the sick, and the unsaved, without saying anything, hearing anything or doing anything, like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).
PHOTO: When the church takes on the habits of the world, it risks becoming a ghostly existence; Christians can end up passing by the poor, the exploited, the sick, and the unsaved, without saying anything, hearing anything or doing anything, like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).
Picture posted by Rudy Fanggidae, Reflections of Life
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https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8pAK6e83lDE/VLhnQ-aBb_I/AAAAAAAAAFU/M30LjCGrmIo/s1600/Good%2Bsamaritan2.jpg
http://www.rudyfanggidae.com/2015/01/apa-lawan-murah-hati.html



The example of the Good Samaritan, however, shows what Jesus wants of us. He wants us to see the needs of people through the eyes of God, to let our hands became the hands of God as we help them, and to speak from our mouths the words of God as we bring comfort and hope to others. When we consecrate ourselves to Christ fully and offer ourselves to Him, He will live through us, and people will recognise Him in our lives.

 

The example of the Good Samaritan, however, shows what Jesus wants of us.
PHOTO: The example of the Good Samaritan, however, shows what Jesus wants of us. He wants us to see the needs of people through the eyes of God, to let our hands became the hands of God as we help them, and to speak from our mouths the words of God as we bring comfort and hope to others.
Picture posted by Engaging Gospel Doctrine on 10 April 2015
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-spH9eCexlgc/W6zL-E3WHfI/AAAAAAAArhk/6kvlB_-6iOQQP0pLGUn5_0sTC8IT0Q2IQCLcBGAs/s1600/the-good-samaritan.jpg
http://mormonsundayschool.org/wp-content/uploads/the-good-samaritan.jpg
http://mormonsundayschool.org/140-who-is-my-neighbor-new-testament-lesson-14/



That is the challenge facing us as a community of believers today - to stop serving ourselves within the cloistered walls of our church buildings and to become involved with our communities, so that we can become the instruments of our Lord and touch the lives of those who struggle and suffer around us.


Reflect prayerfully on what this means for you personally.
Becoming "Little Christs" [1]
When we imitate Christ in word, attitude, and action, we will carry His life, character, and ministry to a watching world. In this way, Jesus will be manifested in all corners of the world, wherever His faithful disciples of Jesus live and serve. We will become little lights in the world (Matthew 5:14) as we display the Light of the world to others (John 9:5).



Becoming 'Little Christs'
PHOTO: Becoming "Little Christs"
When we imitate Christ in word, attitude, and action, we will carry His life, character, and ministry to a watching world. In this way, Jesus will be manifested in all corners of the world, wherever His faithful disciples of Jesus live and serve. We will become little lights in the world (
Matthew 5:14) as we display the Light of the world to others (John 9:5).
Picture posted by beautifulbluebrides.com
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http://www.beautifulbluebrides.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/peinados-novias-boho-chic.jpg
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Apologist and writer C. S. Lewis puts it aptly: "Every Christian is to become little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else." [47] This is God's purpose for us, and all our activities - individual or corporate - must be measured from this perspective. Lewis adds, "The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose." [48]

 

Every Christian is to become 'little Christ'.
PHOTO: Every Christian is to become 'little Christ'. This is God's purpose for us, and all our activities - individual or corporate - must be measured from this perspective. The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time.
Picture saved by Raj to jesus

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eKR2rvKyS60/W6zL8pVzKdI/AAAAAAAArhI/dp0ChVDB6fI0MyW3vNIXSokueZU4MhJcACLcBGAs/s1600/5de9faa90bac4e9bbccaf5007738e943.jpg
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If we remember that we have been chosen by God to "be conformed to the image of the Son" (Romans 8:29), then we will understand why Jesus calls us to come to Him, to take up His yoke, and to learn from Him. And it is when we respond and become His apprentice that we become, in the words of C. S. Lewis, "little Christ".



We have been chosen by God to 'be conformed to the image of the Son' (Romans 8:29).
PHOTO: We have been chosen by God to "be conformed to the image of the Son" (Romans 8:29). Jesus calls us to come to Him, to take up His yoke, and to learn from Him. And it is when we respond and become His apprentice that we become "little Christ".
Artwork by Paul François Quinsac (1858 – 1932, French) - Allégorie de la Musique
Picture from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

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Dear Lord, Please help us to consecrate and surrender every part of our body and every area of our lives to Christ so that we become His hands, feet, voice, and ears. Help us to have true and proper worship by offering every part of ourselves to Him as an instrument of righteousness.<br>We need help us to repent and abstain on a regular basis from all evils, Help us to prevent our soul or even a single body part from acting out with evil will and sin. Help us not to be rootless and disengaged but consecrated ourselves to Christ fully, and offer ourselves to Him so that He live through us, and people will recognise Him in our lives.<br>Help us to be consecrated instrument of Christ, through which He manifests His character and ministry. We want to become the kind of people we were meant to be - reflecting the beauty and holiness of God, and the compassion and love of Christ. We pray for help to respond and become His apprentice so that we become 'little Christ' and stop serving ourselves within the cloistered walls of our church buildings, but to become involved with our communities. We can then become the instruments of our Lord and touch the lives of those who struggle and suffer around us.<br>Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, Please help us to consecrate and surrender every part of our body and every area of our lives to Christ so that we become His hands, feet, voice, and ears. Help us to have true and proper worship by offering every part of ourselves to Him as an instrument of righteousness.

We need help us to repent and abstain on a regular basis from all evils, Help us to prevent our soul or even a single body part from acting out with evil will and sin. Help us not to be rootless and disengaged but consecrated ourselves to Christ fully, and offer ourselves to Him so that He live through us, and people will recognise Him in our lives.

Help us to be consecrated instrument of Christ, through which He manifests His character and ministry. We want to become the kind of people we were meant to be - reflecting the beauty and holiness of God, and the compassion and love of Christ. We pray for help to respond and become His apprentice so that we become 'little Christ' and stop serving ourselves within the cloistered walls of our church buildings, but to become involved with our communities. We can then become the instruments of our Lord and touch the lives of those who struggle and suffer around us.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
"
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Reflection - Letting Christ Live in Us - Consecrate ourselves to God
Question from source (book): "Finding rest for the soul", Chapter Ten, Question 3, Page 162.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012




Reference
[1] From "Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, Copyright © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-709-5, Part III: LEARN FROM ME, Chapter Ten "Learning from Jesus: Letting Christ Live in Us", Page 158-161.

[43] Margaret Magdalen, A Spiritual Check-Up: Avoiding Mediocrity in the Christian Life (Guildford: Highland, 1990).

[44] Willard, Renovation of the Heart, 139.

[45] Horatio Grimley, trans. and ed., St. Bernard Abbot of Clairvaux: Selections from His Letters, Meditations, Sermons, Hymns and Other Writings (Cambridge University Press, 2013), 208-209.

[46] Michael Frost, Incarnate: The Body of Christ in an Age of Disengagement (InterVarsity Press, 2014), 15.

[47] Lewis, Mere Christianity, 149.

[48] Ibid. (has been mentioned in a previous reference), 166.


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John 9:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9%3A5&version=NIV

Luke 10:30-37 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A30-37&version=NIV

Matthew 5:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A14&version=NIV

Matthew 11:28-29 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+11%3A28-29&version=NIV

Romans 6:12-13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+6%3A12-13&version=NIV

Romans 8:29 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8%3A29&version=NIV

Romans 12:1 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A1&version=NIV