some more or less

as a running theme im still praying and pondering the more of jesus less of me thing. and today im diggin into the part where jesus said:

if anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

self denial is not something im into. it means not buying or eating whatever i want. it means not ignoring the problems of others. its really inconvenient and requires intentional engagement in the lives of people id rather not care about. i mean seriously – some people take a lot of work.

like me.

and its when i hit that realization that i know i cant do it any other way. i cant ignore the needy. not bc im obligated or commanded to but bc christ didnt ignore me. and in paying attention to me he didnt leave me where i was with a few pleasant senitments either.

jesus invaded my broken corrupt heart and began the long process of restoring his image. and as he does so im compelled by this new nature he is working in me to actually do something about the pain and suffering and injustice in the world – especially right here where i am.

on top of this self denial thing jesus apparently wants me dead. that whole grab a cross thing just isnt appealing. it means not only do i need to say no to me – ive got to go ahead and kill me right off. the me that wants comfort and ease and luxury or at the very least a reasonable amount of disposable income.

but thats the point. and in fact this is where i got all twisted up about a week ago listening to a sermon by pastor mark over at providence community church in plano. he was using the parable of the dishonest mgr in luke 16 to make a point about how we should use our money to benefit the poor for the sake of the kingdom.

and tho this seems like it should be a no-brainer i look around and have to wonder am i doing this? am i living in such a way as to benefit those in need with that which god has blessed me? am i making hard decisions that force my own death? the death of my desires and wants for the sake of others?

there this little chunk of philippians that ive been mulling over for a good while now:

you have to think like jesus who – tho he was in all reality god – he didnt hang on to that too tightly but became nothing and took the form of a servant being born a man. and being a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of a humiliating and painful death.

and this is where i think what it means to follow christ lands right in the middle of my comfort zone and starts kicking. if i am a follower of jesus – if thats what i dare to call myself – then humbling myself and stepping out of my life into the mess of someone elses brokenness has got to be the norm. it cant be something i consider good from a distance.

i have to get my hands and feet dirty.

become a servant.

humble myself.

be obedient.

and these arent obligations. at least for me. its not a matter of what i have to do. its a matter of my proximity to jesus and who i am becoming as a result.

less of me.

more of him.


~ by graceshaker on January 27, 2009.

9 Responses to “some more or less”

  1. and this is a pastor/teacher/leader/servant guy worth following.

  2. I’ve often thought that scripture like this are the hinge on which the gospel swings. At either extreme is discipleship w/o cost and the other is religion without reward. Both are distortions, IMHO. With this scripture and Luke 17:33, there is no religion. Just naked faith, maybe.


    no maybe, no faith.

  3. If you understand who Jesus really is, Savior/Lord/God/Teacher/Word how can you follow Him with less than full commitment?

  4. Man, I give you props for this dude. This made me really respect more than ever. Why cant I live near you and you be my pastor? lol

  5. That death, that Jesus wants in us, came also come about from the realization that we do not want to let go of all our possesions. We do not always think of the other. We do not care about making peace and being forgiving.

    That realization that we are (still) at heart sinners, brings us to the place of the publican, where we are essentially dead and are begging God for mercy.

    I think that is the deah to self that Jesus is after.


  6. Can I get your email or an easier way to contact you?

  7. Your email to me comes in as do not reply. Please insert your email address in the body of the letter and i would be pleased to respond.

  8. Willow, who are you talking to?

  9. I guess I’m talking to the voices in my head? My rice crispies said you were a nice guy, but they lie at times. You, Trumpethope19, i could have sworn I got an email from you at, but it listed your email as “do not reply”. Now I think that is reality, but it is my reality and you may not agree. i made it thru the 70’s but there could have been some damage there, ok i admit it. Whenever i yell at my daughters they claim that the fault for anything they do wrong lies in my sinful condition in the 70’s and that my behavior caused chromosomal damage to them , hence why yell at them it is all my fault. So email me if you want to, I am going to ask Snap Crackle and Pop, to check out a post I put up that I believe you inspired Image of God.

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