Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Curiosity Killed the Cat (10/10/13)
- TITLE: How to Slay One's Self
By Ernest Yoder
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Self is a highly regarded entity in the world. The Bible speaks of a certain class of people that are lovers of themselves. (2Ti.3:2 NIV) This statement quite obviously comes from the idea that self is something to stroke and pamper and be protected from discomfort or misfortune. Even when one commits suicide it can be done to relieve one’s self.
Self was the prominent motivator in Satan’s decision to challenge God. Isaiah speaks at least metaphorically, if not in fact, to Satan’s selfish motivations in Isaiah 14:12-15 (NIV) Five times Satan as the “morning star” said, “I will….” Satan’s subsequent influence contaminated man’s ability to be innocent before God and naturally do God’s will. After the fall, self got in the way. Adam and Eve discovered their inability to forthwith naturally walk with God. Their descendants likewise inherited their fallen natures with self as the motivating factor.
When Jesus began His ministry He drew big crowds. People were curious about this Man. They marveled, were amazed, and gravitated toward Him. Why?
The answer is found in the fact that in His presence they discovered themselves helpless victims of their “selves.” He provided the escape from an empty self they needed. When we are without God life becomes empty and meaningless. This occurs from reasons having to do with our tendency to cater to the false comforts and ambitions of self. We need to get beyond that and that is precisely what Jesus offered.
In His ministry Jesus spoke plainly about the need to deny self and take up our cross (Mt.16:24 NIV) in defiance of what self wants. Speaking of his self Paul writes, “I am crucified with Christ.” (Ga.2:20 NIV) The OT sacrifices, as our surrogates, were indicative of our need to be “slain.”
There was and continues to be a tantalizingly tempting quality to the message of the gospel and the way of the cross. Curious people were drawn to the message because they saw the way out of self’s entanglements. As the Holy Spirit deals with people and whets their curiosity He makes them aware of the futility of self’s designs. Souls are liberated when self is slain.
As it was when Philip went to Nathaniel and said, “Come and see,” speaking of Jesus, (Jn.1:45-49 NIV) curiosity can be a great motivator in getting to the place of acknowledging Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We could say that curiosity at least helps kill our “self” cat.
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