FREEDOM FROM VANITY
For you have died, and your life
is hid with Christ in God. When
Christ who is our life appears,
then you also will appear with
him in glory.
When Christ appears
then you will appear with him in
Most of us don't want to
pay the price of living a
I'll never forget the day
when I was a small child and
It had no paint left on
it, just dried up
They pushed it,
jumped on it,
rode it down the hill,
but it wouldn't keep going.
To this day, we don't
know what was wrong with that
We start bearing a little
fruit. We pray for somebody
this thing through us.
And the minute vanity gets hold
If our fellowship begins to grow, naturally we're pleased.
But if we aren’t careful, our hearts are soon more taken up with
the success of our fellowship than with that lost sheep
out there who needs to be found, or that wounded one
who needs care.
Next thing you know,
we're going through religious motions
Don't think it's just the
famous Christian celebrities
Is there no fear of God left in the man?
Doesn't he realize he's
going to answer
And even while we're
looking down our noses at him, we're
Why does every victory,
every sign of progress,
every glorious miracle
that comes through our
We know our Lord
stressed, as lesson number one, for any
Blessed are the
poor in spirit for theirs
Unless you turn and become as a little child
you will in no wise enter the Kingdom of heaven.
He who humbles
himself shall be exalted, and
But how are we going to get rid of vanity? ,
We can resolve to be humble. What good does that do?
We can climb down off our pedestal today, by tomorrow
night we're right back up there again.
- The first whiff of
success, and we're off
- The first little
defeat, we're going to
But there is a way, and
we can see it as we look at
Jesus is completely sane;
undistracted by all this
He knows that He came to this earth for one reason only:
- Not to become a smashing success.
- Not to establish Himself as a healer.
- Not to be the greatest teacher of all time.
- But to be the Lamb of
So they can shout Hosanna at the top of their lungs.
They can praise Him,
mock Him. It doesn't make any difference.
Jesus knows exactly what
His job is if a single member of
The good shepherd
lays down his life for the
But was the cross only for Him?
"If any one serves
me, he must follow me,
makes us think we can follow Jesus the healer,
hero, and then drop back
and take some other road when
Don't we understand that the power that
- rests on Jesus when He
is the power of His
approaching death? Until we accept
You have died - your life
is hid with Christ
We ought to know by now that our starting point, as
followers, is His cross. That's where our
What do we mean when we
say, "Jesus died for our sins?"
for our sin of vanity,
- He atoned for it.
- He took it down into death with Him.
- He carried it right out of this world with Him.
Well, if Jesus died for this thing,
- How come it's still hanging us up?
- How come it's still cursing our lives?
- How come we're still lusting after glory?
Because we haven't taken
it to the cross and dumped it,
we haven't relinquished it to His blood.
You took your wicked past
to the cross and were set free,
Our starting point is the
cross of Jesus, and our desti-
"If any man would come after me, let him
deny himself, take up his cross, daily,
and follow me."
And what do you think
you're going to do with this cross
"That I may know
him in the fellowship of
Our goal is not greater and greater success,
more and more acclaim among our Christian friends.
Our goal is a death that will somehow be like His.
A life poured out.
A life willingly given.
A life spent for God alone, until there's nothing
left and the flame goes out.
And, if as we journey
toward our cross we should somehow
And finally, we ought to know by now that every day we
live, until our lives are completely poured out, is to
be lived under the power of the cross of Christ.
- Death works in us so
that life can work
- Thorns in the flesh
press down on us and
We begin to see the
and the unfair
things that happen, as
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in
reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in
distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am
weak, then I am strong.”
And we don't get sour and
cynical in the midst of this
we keep right on going as
men and women who now have
- We're free because we've died.
- We're free because our
lives are hid with
- We're free because
we're satisfied to let
Do you really believe
that you have died with Him?
Are you satisfied to wait
until Christ, who is our life,