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Excerpts from 'Devotional Classics' edited by Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith C.S. Lewis (1900-1963) 1. How much of myself must I give? This is the question we all ask when we first come to Christ. This is the 'ordinary self' talking. The 'natural' person we are asks how to preserve life as we know it with as little disruption as possible. We hope that when this Christian thing continues, the 'natural self' will also continue to have it's needs met. The problem is, since we are 'in Christ' the 'natural self' must not be our starting point or that which guides our life. 2. Two results As long as we start from the 'natural self' one of two things will happen. Either we will give up trying to meet the needs of our 'natural self' with it's desires or we will be very unhappy as we 'live for others' but are discontented with life and Christianity. 3. Harder is easier The Christian way is different; harder and easier. Christ says 'Give Me ALL. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your work. I Want You. I have not come into your life to torment your 'natural self' but to KiILL IT! Hand over the 'natural self', all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked.. I want it ALL. I will give you a 'new self' instead. In fact, I will give you MYSELF; My own shall become yours. 4. The almost impossible thing The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing is to hand over your ENTIRE life to Christ - all your dreams, wishes and precautions. But this is easier than what we are trying to do when we work to maintain the 'natural self' and still live the Christian life. Christ warned us about this. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short, but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and resown. 5. Listening to that Other voice That is why the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush by like wild animals. And the first job each morning is shoving them all back; then listen to that Other voice, taking that Other point of view allowing that Other life to come pouring through. It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid on the surface and a dye or stain which soaks right through. We are told to be perfect and Christ meant it. He meant that we must go for the full treatment. The 'new self'. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird, it would be harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, natural, egg. We must be hatched or go bad. 6. The reason the Church exists This is the whole of Christianity. There is nothing else. The Church exists for no other purpose than to draw people to Christ, to make them 'little Christ's' Christians. God became man for no other purpose. 7. Becoming part of the plan We have been told how we can be drawn to Christ and that we can become part of that wonderful present the Prince of Peace wants to offer His Father. The present is Himself and us in Him. That is what we were created for. To be present to God with and In, and perfect fro all eternity. Read: Luke 14:25-33 Reflection:: 1. C.S.Lewis stresses the need to give all areas of our life to God. What do you find most difficult about giving your all to God? Describe how you would feel if Jesus came to you and spoke the words 'Give me ALL. I don't want....' 2. In Luke 14:25-33 Jesus encourages those who would follow Him to 'count the cost' of being one of His disciples. What has being a Christian cost you? 3. What are some reasons I fear giving my whole life to God? 4. To whom are you listening when you wake up? Who is in control? 5. We focus on specific actions, God focuses on us. We work from the outside in, God works from the inside out. We try, God transforms. Resolve to live each day consciously listening to the voice of God and letting the 'new self' the one that Christ gave you, come to life.

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