But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him……(Phil. 3:7-9)
There are Christians who look on the blessedness of spiritual life as consisting in the privilege of ever receiving; they know not how the capacity for receiving is only kept up and enlarged by continual giving up and giving out – how it is only in the emptiness that comes from the parting with what we have, that the Divine fulness can flow in. It was a truth our Savior continually insisted on. When He spoke of selling all to secure the treasure, of losing our life to find it, of the hundredfold to lose who forsake all, He was expounding the need of self-sacrifice as the law of the kingdom for Himself as well as for His disciples.
It is not enough that, when once you are truly converted, you have the earnest desire to have your life devoted to the service of the Lord. The desire is good, but can neither teach the way nor give the strength to do it acceptably. Incalculable harm has been done to the deeper spirituality of the Church, by the idea that when once we are God’s children the using of our gifts in His service follows as a matter of course. No; for this there is indeed needed very special grace. And the way in which the grace comes is again that of sacrifice and surrender.
And such surrender of all for Christ, is it a single step, the act and experience of a moment,or is it a course of daily renewed and progressive attainment? IT IS BOTH. There may be a moment in the life of a believer when he gets a first sight, or a deeper insight, of this most blessed truth, and when, made willing in the day of God’s power, he does indeed, in an act of the will, gather up the whole of life yet before him into the decision of a moment, and lay himself on the altar a living and an acceptable sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). Such moments have often been the blessed transition from a life of wandering and failure to a life of abiding and power Divine. But even then his daily life becomes the unceasing prayer for more light on the meaning of entire surrender, the ever-renewed offering up of all he has to God.
Nature shrinks back from such self-denial and crucifixion in its rigid application to our life in its whole extent. But what nature does not love and cannot perform, grace will accomplish,and make to thee a life of joy and glory. Do thou but yield up thyself to Christ thy Lord; the conquering power of His incoming presence will make a joy to cast out all that before was most precious. And the secret of a life of close abiding will be seen to be simply this: As I give Him wholly for myself; and as I lose myself and all I have for Him, He takes me wholly for Himself and gives Himself wholly to me.

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