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      Seeking God's Glory Means Self-Denial.
      (John Calvin)

      Saturday, December 1, 2007

      Let us therefore not seek our own but that which pleases the Lord, and is helpful to the promotion of his glory. There is a great advantage in almost forgetting ourselves and in surely neglecting all selfish aspects; for then only can we try faithfully to devote our attention to God and his commandments. For when Scripture tells us to discard all personal and selfish considerations, it does not only exclude from our minds the desire for wealth, the lust for power, and the favor of men, but it also banishes false ambitions and hunger for human glory with other more secret evils. Indeed, a Christian ought to be disposed and prepared to keep in mind that he has to reckon with God every moment of his life. A Christian will measure all his deeds by God's law, and his secret thoughts will be subject to God's will. If a man has learned to regard God in every enterprise, he will be delivered from all vain desires. The denial of ourselves which Christ has so diligently commanded his disciples from the beginning will at last dominate all the desires of our heart. The denial of ourselves will leave no room for pride, haughtiness, or vainglory, nor for avarice, licentiousness, love of luxury, wantonness, or any sin born from self-love. Without the principle of self-denial man is either led to indulgence in the grossest vices without the least shame; or, if there is any appearance of virtue in him, it is spoiled by an evil passion for glory. Show me a single man who does not believe in the Lord's law of self-denial, and who yet willingly practices virtue among men. All who have not been influenced by the principle of self-denial, have followed virtue merely from the love of praise. Even those of the philosophers who have contended that virtue is desirable for its own sake, have been puffed up with so much arrogance, that it is evident they desire virtue for no other reason than to give them a chance to exercise pride. God is so far from being pleased either with those who are ambitious of popular praise, or with hearts full of pride and presumption, that he plainly tells "they have their reward" in this world, and that (repentant) harlots and publicans are nearer to the kingdom of heaven than such persons. There is no end and no limit to the obstacles of the man who wants to pursue what is right and at the same time shrinks back from self-denial. It is an ancient and true observation that there is a world of vices hidden in the soul of man, but Christian self-denial is the remedy of them all. There is deliverance in store only for the man who gives up his selfishness, and whose sole aim is to please the Lord and to do what is right in his sight.





      (Taken from his Golden Booklet
      Of the True Christian Life
      )







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