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More Jesus, less selfie part2Do you, too, need more of Jesus and less of yourself?

As I was focusing this past week on wanting more of Jesus and less of me, I came up with another three lifestyle changes that will train my heart to want Him (for the first two, see last week’s blog.):

  •  Fill Up on His Thoughts, Not Yours. You and I must be fully saturated in the Word of God or we will let the godless philosophies of this world govern our hearts and minds. And that’s one sure way to have more of us and less of Him. Romans 12:2 instructs us not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can prove what the perfect will of God is. What fills your thoughts each day? God’s Word or the words of people? Praises for Him or the proud, lustful, me-first lyrics of music that dominates the airwaves? What you focus your mind on will determine if there’s more of Jesus or more of you.
  •  Filter Your Behavior. Here’s where we need the Holy Spirit’s help. Throughout God’s Word we are told to control our speech, our thought life, and our actions. As we let no unwholesome talk come out of our mouths (Ephesians 4:29), we are acting more like Jesus than ourselves. As we focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8), we’ll be focusing on God, not ourselves. As we are quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19), we will take in more information and think more carefully before responding. That is exercising more of the wisdom of Jesus and less of the foolishness of ourselves.
  • Focus on the New You, Not the Old One. How many times have you heard a follower of Christ excuse their outburst of anger, their rudeness, or their foolish or dysfunctional behavior by saying “I’m sorry. I’m just that way”? To have more of Jesus and less of you is to realize that Jesus died to make the you that is just that way, become just like Him. If you’ve surrendered your life to Christ and possess His divine nature, you have more of a potential within you to be like Jesus than to be like your own earthly parents. So live as the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old you is gone. The new you – consumed by Christ – has come.

How will you start wanting more of Jesus and less of you? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

More Jesus, less selfieToday I got to thinking about a concept: More Jesus, less selfie.

It goes against everything that’s modeled to us in this world.

We are constantly told “Look out for you,” “Invest in yourself,” and “Love Your Body.” I’ve even seen t-shirts that say “Love Your Selfie!”

I, personally, have bought the lie that I need more of everything else — more time, more money, more energy, more creativity, more motivation, more exposure, more of a “following.” Yet the only thing I really need more of is Jesus. And I definitely need less of me.

For a long time, it’s been half and half in my life: Half Jesus, half me. But Jesus wants me to be all Him. He isn’t interested in a dual reign or a joint partnership.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

You cannot serve God and self, either.

Jesus also said “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).  But how do you and I deny ourselves today in a society that is constantly urging us to put ourselves first? How can you and I, like John the Baptist, live by the motto “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30)?

We can do that by reversing the way we naturally think and act. It means putting Christ in the place where we would normally put ourselves. It means having:

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Find rest and relief in God as your island hideawayI’m guessing you could use some rest and relief — right now!

But taking a vacation or getting a massage or spending the day at a health spa probably isn’t an option at the moment. And all of those things would only provide temporary relief, anyway.

Rest and relief — physically, mentally and emotionally — is not found through a change of location, but through a change of lifestyle.

Here are four steps to rest and relief (which spell REST, by the way) so you can start learning to “go away with God” in your heart and find the rejuvenation that is equivalent to an island getaway.

Step 1: Realize that God is in control and you are not

Whatever it is that is tiring you — an intense schedule, a burdensome task,  an effort that is being thwarted, or an unexpected delay — it is probably beyond your control at this point.  When we acknowledge that God is in control and we are not, that is the first step in loosening our grip on things and beginning to relax our shoulders and rest. Let God determine the pace at which you travel and suddenly the speed at which you’re moving doesn’t matter as much because you’re realizing God is at the helm. See your experience as a time of traveling WITH Him to a destination that He sees, even if you don’t.

Step 2: Expect God to come through

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