Emptying Self

Our Heavenly Father sent HIS Son to direct us to the Kingdom of GOD.  Jesus did not expound countless formulas and methods for us to follow in order to enter in.  His words were directed toward communicating principles to live by rather than specific rules and regulations to follow.  His Sermon on the Mount began:

Matthew 5:3

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

To be poor in spirit means we must empty ourselves of all desire to exercise and promote our self-will.  We must set aside all of our past assumptions and notions resulting from what man has told us about Our Heavenly Father.  We must wipe the slate clean.  We must acknowledge that the traditions of man may have been false and that they may have hindered our ability to “find” and dwell with Our Heavenly Father.  Habits, possessions, academic distinctions, and reputation can all be impediments to entering into the kingdom of heaven.  You can see why I have written much about “simplifying” your life.  Possessions can place you in bondage and enslave you, preventing you from “entering in”.

The rich young ruler provides us an excellent example of enslavement.  Matthew 19:

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is,God.  But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’fn and,‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.fn What do I still lack?”

The young man thought he had it made.  He had kept the “Law” from his youth, he had money, and now he was ready to receive an endorsement and affirmation from the “Good Teacher”.  Now Jesus presents the principle of “emptying self”:

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Jesus uses the word “perfect”, the same word used in 1 John 4:18 describing Love as being the bond of perfection.  If you want to come to full maturity as a Son, you must empty yourself of anything that would enslave you.  Your ego will fight to the bitter end.  The rich young man was not willing to give up his possessions.  He was enslaved by the love of money.  His trust was in the money and this is what caused the gate to be shut.  Whether it be money, fame, or other possessions, are you willing to empty yourself for the Kingdom’s sake?

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