Jesus Lite, Part 3

The true gospel is a call to self-denial.
It’s not a call to self-fulfillment.

This is in opposition to what we often hear—
that Jesus wants you well, rich, free from debt and happy.

But that’s “Jesus Light.”
It’s a watered-down gospel that isn’t found in the Bible—
yet it’s a trending message that’s prevalent in many churches.

Psychologically man-centered evangelicals tell you that
Jesus gives you happiness,
Jesus makes you a better real estate agent
and Jesus helps you make more touchdowns.

Jesus really wants to make you feel better about yourself.
He wants to elevate your self-image.
He wants to put an end to your negative thinking.

Christ DOES definitely want to give us the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”
(Galatians 5:22-23NIV).

But He never promised popularity, health, wealth and
an everything-rosy life by following Him.

We seek HIM first, and as we grow in a relationship with Christ,
He produces that fruit in our lives.

Jesus told us to deny ourselves:

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross,
and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses
his life for My sake will find it
(Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV).

“To deny oneself” isn’t a “get what you want” deal.
It’s a give up everything lifestyle.

What does it mean to deny myself and to “take up my cross”?

Well, it’s not about exalting me.
It’s about SLAYING me.

It’s the death of self.
You win by losing.
You live by dying.

And THAT is the heart message of the gospel.

Notice this Scripture doesn’t mention anything about
improving your self-esteem,
being rich & successful,
or having your felt needs met—
that’s a sugar-coated gospel.
That’s Jesus Lite.
And that’s unbiblical.

(And I’m assuming you know that I’m not suggesting it’s wrong to be rich or to have a positive self-esteem! Jesus trusts many Christians with wealth, because He knows they’ll use it to glorify Him. And when we’ve truly aligned ourselves with Christ, we DO have a positive self-esteem.)

We need to think about something:
Is the message of Christianity self-fulfillment,
or is it self-denial?
Can’t be both.

Seems that Jesus answers the question in Luke 9:23-26.
I’m not printing that passage here,
because I’d rather you pick up your Bible and read it.

How will you answer the question?
Is the message of Christianity self-fulfillment,
or is it self-denial?




I’m speaking at the MO District Ladies retreat this weekend.

Please pray for us.

6 replies
  1. Sammy
    Sammy says:

    Amen! Thanks for being dedicated to the Godpel. My Bible says it a little different in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
    In other words the fruit is brought by the Spirit and not by our own selves. He tempers things out of us not through our own self control. Not our own self fulfillment only God’s grace, power, and mercy. Source AKJV Zondervan

  2. Phyllis Carlson
    Phyllis Carlson says:

    I printed this for my Teen Leadership Group and my Teen Sunday School Class. Good Words. Thank you Susie


  3. Joanne Penrod
    Joanne Penrod says:

    Thank you for your message Susie. I know it is self denial. Prayers that God moves at your retreat in MO. I can personally tell you when ever I get to hear you at a retreat I come out a different and better person. God moves thru you. How wonderful.

  4. Brenda Tunnell
    Brenda Tunnell says:

    May the power of the CROSS fill the place with anointing. And may they bow the knee to the KING!

  5. Jill Etter
    Jill Etter says:

    Good stuff, Susie!!!
    Thank you for the encouragement.
    Praying for the MO ladies!


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