At least 27 people died in "selfie-related" incidents around the world last year - that's more than those who died from shark attacks.
We live in a world of selfies... How is that selfishness working out for our society?
But here is the contrast...
Philippians 3:7-11 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
This is the great exchange: Our lives, for His.
He came to earth and sought us out - he took the burden and weight of our sin and triumphed over it on the cross. He asks us to consider our old lives a loss to gain this new life.
We can't have our life and his life - we have to choose which one we will consider a loss.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
What's more important to you?
Your life, or relationship with Christ?
Paul thought it was worth everything - he was willing to lose everything to pursue a relationship with Christ.
What about our faith?
Is ours a radical faith and a counter cultural lifestyle?
Or are we trying to have it both ways - our life and Christ too?
A relationship with Christ without inconvenience to our way of life?
A functioning relationship on any level requires equal investment. We cannot question Christ's investment into having a relationship with us, but what is our investment?
He invites us to join him in laying down our life to gain this new life - let's get him back in the place of priority in our lives!
I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him
Paul says his old life is garbage - that he may gain Christ. Paul didn't have a bad life at all - he was a roman citizen, a pharisee and a zealot: he was the religious hero! But he traded it all and considered it garbage that he could gain Christ.
We live in a world obsessed with self - and we can catch the bug!
We can be tempted to place too much importance on our lives.
Have we bought into the world's idea of my life and my rights?!
We can all struggle. Having been in the ministry for 22 years, with the world's slogan of self... some days I want my life back!
But, where would I be without him.
Without Christ intervening in my life when I had nearly lost it - without the call of God.
I think of a young man lost in this world: bad decisions getting him into a bad place. But one decision, to surrender all to Christ changed everything.
His impact in my life has been complete and utterly transforming!!!
I want to do my best to say my old life is garbage that I may gain Christ and be found in him. I want to encourage you in your own life - to consider your life and your rights and your opportunity garbage that you may gain Christ and be found in him.
Where else would you want to be found? This summer, in 2017... be found in him.
How to have a relationship with Jesus Christ
1 Pay the price for the real thing
Surrender all to him.
Not some, not 50%... surrender all.
We live in a world of fakes. The problem with fakes is that they don't last long and when you really need it... it falls apart!
The difference between the takes and the real thing is always the cost.
How much did it cost you? Don't go through the motions with God - that is just religion, it's fake. Pay the price. Surrender it all.
Matthew 16:24 ESV Then Jesus told his discples, "if anyone would come afer me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
2 Seek him
Jeremiah 29:13 ESV You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
You've got to put your whole heart into it if you want to find God.
A relationship with God requires time.
Try to have any relationship without time - that relationship fades...
Every morning, get your time with God.
Get back into prayer, the word, worship.
Make it your daily habit - before breakfast or before the gym or before work.
Put Jesus at the center!
1 John 3:4 No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him
We have to change. Let a kingdom transformation take place in your life.
We can't have a relationship with Christ and stay the same.
For some of us - it's time to change!
What is holding you back? What changes do you need to make right now?
4 Stay the course
Walk in his pathway and don't give up.
Don't get offended.
Continue to walk with him.
Having walked for 30 years, you see so many give up.
If you walk way, you let the devil win.
If you walk away, you grieve the Father who paid such a price to win your freedom.
If you walk away, you never get to find out what God had planned.
Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Stay the course.