Do You Have a Babylonian Mentality?

March 31, 2018

 

In our Western World culture, which has much in common with ancient Babylon, we are indoctrinated with a “me” driven mentality of overindulgence and image building-always trying to make an impression that is better than the reality.  Chapter 47 of Isaiah describes the fall of Babylon, a great ancient civilization.  Verse 10 shows us the attitude that was the downfall of this people group.

“You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me’.  Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’”  Our “me” driven society has created a self-absorbed people concentrating on being more, having more, doing more. 

 

Dear friends, this pursuit of ourselves will not end well.  We must go beyond ourselves to find God.

 

The teachings of Jesus fly right in the face of our “me” centered society.  They are “upside down” and “inside out” teachings.  Can you drop our cultures self-absorbed, ego-stroked, over-indulgent mindset and focus on Jesus’ revolutionary words?

 

Luke 9:24-25 

24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

 

We don’t attain life by grabbing hold of this world and climbing our way up and over others.  We let go, handing over our life to our creator.  Doing this will preserve our life.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it? I guess that is why Jesus made a point of repeating the idea on multiple occasions. 

 

It makes me think of someone trapped in a burning building.  She continues to climb up stairwells to escape the fire that started below her.  She gets to the roof of the building only to realize she hasn’t escaped the fire at all.  She hears the firemen yell for her to jump into the net they are holding at the base of the building.  Will she let go of the side of that building and jump-trusting, that by throwing herself off a building, she will actually be preserving her life?

 

The reality, as I see it, is that we all have to come to a final decision about who is going to be boss of our life.  For me, I choose to relinquish the throne of my life to Christ Jesus, handing my life to Him.  I find great peace in this decision.  In fact, it is the most important decision I have made or will ever make.  I am not living for myself, since I ask Jesus to take over.  I am living for Christ, His causes, His plans.  In doing this I have become more, not less.  I have found great peace, fulfillment, and purpose.  Not to mention the future of eternity with God.

 

Jesus’ teaching on this subject: “Whoever loses his life for me” is found in all four Gospels and in two of the Gospels it is found more than once.

 

Matthew 10:38-39 (NIV)

38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16:24-25 (NIV)

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Mark 8:34-35 (NIV)

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Luke 9:24-25 (NIV)

24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

Luke 14:26-27 (TLB)

26 “Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does[a] his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise he cannot be my disciple. 27 And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me.

Luke 17:33 (NIV)

33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.

John 12:25 (TLB)

25 If you love your life down here—you will lose it. If you despise your life down here—you will exchange it for eternal glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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