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Spiritual Intelligence: RIP To The Man I Used To Be

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Jesus made this profound statement after He had revealed His death and resurrection to His bewildered disciples.

Good morning friends. The cross was given to Jesus by the Roman soldiers assigned to flog, brutalise and crucify Him. It’s a symbol of pain, suffering and shame. Its a burden, a cause, a mission, a passion, a purpose, a destiny…. Suffice to say that if you haven’t found yours yet, I pray that God almighty will begin to stir up your spirit to; discover, harness, and deploy it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Dear friends that is the starting point of discipleship, for each disciple must follow Jesus with their own cross. Unlike The London Marathon, no amount of training, coaching and nutritional programme can prepare you for the challenges of discipleship. It cannot be simulated, it is our daily choices of denying our present self for the transcending glory of our future self.

Discipleship is costly. It might cost you “friends”, family; hurt your “reputation”; life can be a little tougher sometimes, but exceedingly rewarding in the end. In Paul’s long walk to freedom, he made this statement in a letter to his friends;

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

So, in closing this morning’s thought, I leave you with this beautiful hymn by Fanny J Crosby.

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain—
Free to all, a healing stream—
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.

Refrain:
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.

Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.

Happy Palm Sunday!

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~ Sabali

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Spiritual Intelligence: A Near Miss

As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”

Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”

He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

Wow… This wealthy young man, much loved and admired by the God of the Universe, turned down a call to His apprenticeship programme.

Friends not all are called, and not all are chosen. In fact some offers were turned down and redirected, like in the case with the demon possessed man in Gerasenes;

Later, a great many people from the Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave—too much change, too fast, and they were scared. So Jesus got back in the boat and set off. The man whom he had delivered from the demons asked to go with him, but he sent him back, saying, “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done in him.

But unlike the demon possessed man, the rich young ruler was in a privileged position; for he was of the crop of Israel, and a beneficiary of The Covenant. Sadly, like many today with misdirected priorities, he was too entangled with the affairs of this present life, making it very difficult to make a transition into a more meaningful life experience. In the words of the great teacher;

“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

This fella was so close, yet so far – what a miss?! I pray that the desires of our Present Self does not rob us of the glorious inheritance of our Future Self.

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~ Sabali

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Spiritual Intelligence: Breaking Bad…

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”…

The words of The Rabbi explaining the battle between the spirit (future self), and flesh (present self) to His Apprentices. Their future self was willing to stand with him, but their present self was unable to execute their good intentions.

Every other week, I come in contact with someone battling with similar challenges. Someone trying to; stop a destructive habit, break out of an unhealthy relationship, pursue their business idea…

Sometimes it takes more than will power to do what’s right, once we know what’s right.

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