Thursday, February 7, 2013
If asked if your life was a contradiction, most people would be highly offended. This is because we feel that we are better than we really are. We do not want to look at our flaws, we only want to focus and acknowledge the things that we do well. Few look in the mirror to see who and what they really are, and those that do many times just look and choose to ignore what they see. This latter has been true of my life. I have looked in that mirror and have ignored what I have seen, a contradiction. A contradiction that is at the core of what I believe and who I say that I am. I say that I have given my life to Christ, that I am completely His, that I will go wherever he takes me, and do whatever he asks me to do. The mirror shows something different. It shows a man holding onto His will, ignoring the task at hand, disobediently following Christ hoping that what His Word says is not true. Believing that it was written for just a few fanatics but definitely not for me, wrong.
Matthew 4: 21-22
"Going on from there, He saw two other brothers,
James son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat with Zebedee their father, mending
their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and
their father and follow Him."
The earliest disciples gave up everything that they had and knew to follow the Lord Jesus. All that these men knew was fishing, when Jesus came and asked them to follow Him there were working on their tackle. Guess what they did? They left it all behind to follow the Lord Jesus. These guys had no clue what they were getting into, no clue as to where they were going, or what they would be doing. The one thing that they did have was faith. What does this mean for us? I want you to think about what you have left behind to follow Jesus. The same thing that Jesus asks of the disciples here is what he asks of us. Have we truly let go of the things that He has individually asks us to let go of? Look at Matthew 19:16-22. God asks this rich guys to sell his riches and come and follow the Lord, to which this guy walks away saddened because he loved these riches more than anything. It was these same riches that kept this guy from having a meaningful relationship with the Lord Jesus that would have saved his life. Are there things, possessions, attitudes that God has asked to get rid of in order to come and follow Him?
You see, God does not want people to half-heartedly serve Him. He wants people who are all in for Him, people who forsake it all for Himself and His Gospel. Look at Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven." Everyone can say Lord, Lord and move on but this is not what the Lord demands. He demands that we do His will which can be found in Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8. His will is that we take Him and His Gospel and tell others. It is not a suggestion or something that we should try to do occasionally. It is to be what drives us, should be what we are about, it should be what we do. The disciples left all that they had and knew to do this. Paul, the same way. Show me an example in the Bible of a person who half-heartedly served and was accepted by the Lord, I have not seen an example yet.
Luke 9:61-62 "Another also said, I will follow You, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house. But Jesus said to him, no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." He demands it all, he becomes our priority. You know think about what the disciple and Jesus did, they went around teaching and preaching the Gospel everywhere. Yet, they were never without the things that they needed. They always had a place to stay, food to eat, and people to witness too. Jesus feed five-thousand people with a few pieces of fish and bread. Really puts validity to Matthew 6:33. When you really get down to the nuts and bolts of it all, Jesus is simply asking us to do exactly what he did. He gave everything for us in order that we would give it all right back to Him. If Jesus had just half-heartedly lived life and not went to the cross what would have happened to you and me? If he had decided to sin instead of remain pure what would have happened? I do not think that is something that we want to think about. Instead he remained pure and holy and took on the cross for you and for me 2 Corinthians 5:21 "He became who knew no sin so that we might become His righteousness." He did it for you and me, and all He asks that we accept Him as our savior and live our lives as a living sacrifice for Him. To be people that are transformed by Him and His love. To be people who care more about the dying world around us than ourselves. To take His Gospel and change lives for Him. People that Give Him Glory in everything that we do. Do we?
That's the contradiction that I am speaking of. Are you and me living in such a way? Speaking for myself the answer is no. Consider the following facts. There are seven Billion people alive on planet earth today, and only two billion of these people profess Christianity. This means that about 70% of the earths population is without Christ Jesus in their heart, Hell-Bound. When was the last time you shared your faith? When was the last time that you told someone about Christ? Approximately 30,000+ children die each day from starvation and preventable disease. While they are starving we are looking for the next thing to waste our money on. Live lives full of gluttony. 30,000 children die each day, let that sink in. What are we doing? Just sitting around ignoring this fact, or being proactive? There are about 3 million homeless people living in our nation today. What are we doing for these people? Are we feeding, housing, and clothing these people or simply driving by? These are just a few examples of things that we should and are called to do and are not. The challenge for myself and maybe yourself is to quit ignoring what I know the Word of God says. The literally become His hands and feet by living a life that is completely abandoned to the cause of the Gospel. To let go of the temporary and start focusing on the eternal. To let go of myself and hold onto God. To take up my cross and truly start following the Lord Jesus....
Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven."