In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote of what he called the Great Divide:
“The first step which follows Christ’s call, cut the disciple off from his previous existence. The call to follow at once produces a new situation. To stay in the old situation makes discipleship impossible.”1
A wealthy man’s servant brought him an egg in an eggcup.
Breaking the top, he found the egg wasn’t exactly fresh, and he ordered the servant to take it away and bring another.
The servant did so, and the master ate the egg, only to find that when he got to the bottom it was the same old egg, turned upside down!
Often the old self nature comes back, clothed in the garbs of religion.But it is the same old self.2
Christ declared to His disciples, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24).
For true followers of Christ, the more we die to self, the more we live. Only by dying to self can we produce anything of lasting value.
Andrew Murray said, “Self is the great curse, whether in its relation to God, or to our fellow-men in general, or to fellow-Christians, is thinking of ourselves and seeking our own.
Self is our greatest curse.”3
Two boys were trying to play on a hobby horse outside a department store. It was one of those horses that you put a coin in a slot, and the horse goes up and down.Self is the great curse
They were both trying to ride at the same time, when one boy said, “You know, if both of us didn’t try to get on at the same time, I could have a much better ride!”4
“The greatest danger to religion is that the old self, after being put out by repentance and renunciation, comes back again, and takes over the new forms in the service of the old self. It is the old self; the only difference is that it is now religious.”5
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- 1. Charles Swindoll, Strengthening Your Grip, Grason, Box 1240 Minneapolis, MN., 55440, Copyright 1982, p. 106.
- 2. E. Stanley Jones, The Unshakeable Kingdom And The Unshakeable Person, McNett Press, Copyright 1972 by Abingdon Press, p. 184.
- 3. Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender, Moody Press, Chicago, Copyright 1897, p. 26.
- 4. Robert Schuller, Be Happy You Are Loved, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Copyright 1986, p. 187.
- 5. Eucken, Same source and page as # 1.