by David Brenneman
This thought has permeated the Christian world for way too long. Misconceptions taught in so-called churches by so-called preachers. The Bible calls such individuals false teachers, false prophets.
Read for yourself what comes with the territory of becoming a Believer, a Child of God, from Jesus Himself.
Between this idea of God not giving you more than you can bear or the ideas that health, wealth and prosperity are what awaits those who come to Christ for salvation, I don't know what is worse.
For beginners...realize that Jesus is the Truth. He is not only the way but He is the Truth.
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.
If the world hates you, [h]you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you as well; if they followed My word, they will follow yours also. But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But this has happened so that the word that is written in their Law will be fulfilled: ‘They hated Me for no reason.’
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, namely, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you are testifying as well, because you have been with Me from the beginning." John 15:12-27 NASB
Realize the reality that comes from a right real relationship with Jesus is going to likely be so different from what happens to others in this world, that even if your life COULD be shown to you in advance, your mind couldn't wrap itself around it.
We read what Jesus had John write here is for us to know if we are indeed Christ followers or are following someone's opinion of what a Christ follower is.
Many in many "high places" in so-called "Christian" circles are absolutely not speaking for God.
Jesus left words of comfort because He knew we would need them. Think really hard on that one point. There are no paths to walk in Christ Jesus that aren't going to have rough days to go through when we put what we are commanded in Christ first in our lives. We are to be in this world, not of this world any longer.
We aren't to spend our time, after coming to Christ acting like spoiled rich kids running around the world over doing what we want because Daddy's got an unlimited bank account. We aren't here for us any longer.
We have several responsibilities that come with claiming the name of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
We represent Him. This is among the first.
We are to be His reflected light into this dark world.
We are to remember to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit.
We are to remember we are working in His Harvest.
We have a job to do because of all He’s done for us!
We aren't on a vacation until He comes back.
The times that Jesus wrote about sending workers out into the fields, He never speaks once to a retirement program other than A) His return or B) you die.
Our lives are not our own, we were bought with a price.
Paul spoke clearly and plainly about the reality of the Christian life. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 NASB ""Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in [b]any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also you are in our comfort.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction which occurred in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, who rescued us from so great a danger of death, and will rescue us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, if you also join in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons in our behalf for the favor granted to us through the prayers of many."
Was reading supposed stories of rich people's kids being taught harsh lessons about life this morning. It easily affirmed what came to mind about the false teachers of this world that are in the so-called churches. It's not just about what we can bear, they teach falsehoods about sexuality, about marriage, about many other things.
They seem to leave out the truths of God’s Word when it means losing their place and status. When they love the approval of men more than the approval of God.
Don't take it from me. Read it from God’s Word. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
So what should we expect? Jesus tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us.
He still commands us to be doers of the Word. He expects us to be doers of the Word. He knows that Satan's not going to be leaving us alone. But as with us being in Christ, Satan's got to get permission to touch us. Whatever God allows in your life God has a specific reason and purpose for being in your life. Either its to grow you in Christ Jesus, or it's to bring you back into the center of God's Will. When we are in the center of God's Will, God does things through us and with us and to us for the Kingdom of God. It's always about His Will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
We all have things in this life that we would prefer to be in our lives. We want to go and do this or that. Jesus said this: "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:25 NASB.
To find your purpose and potential in your life you need to let go of it and follow whatever Jesus directs of you. It may hurt, it may not, but you will make it through it. You may find pain and not prosperity but you will not be alone through it. You may not go, see, and enjoy what the world has to offer, but you won't be alone in it. You may, as someone I read about yesterday showed, have a ministry from God in by being in a hospital all your life.
Buried in 1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB "But now God has arranged the parts, each one of them in the body, just as He desired."
Jesus also spoke of taking up your own cross. Matthew 16:24 NASB "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me".
So, my Dear Reader, life quite possibly isn't all sunshine and balloons for you.
Don't look at your life, your situation, in this world with physical eyes. Look at your life through the eyes of God. What can you be doing for the Kingdom of God where you are, in what you're doing? I know you probably have grandiose dreams of what you want to do in life. So do I.
But realize the truth. A) People are going to Hell at an alarming rate. B) Even should you get your hearts desires in life, Jesus is returning soon. It's a matter of eternal importance that we live a life NOW that shows people the way to salvation.
Our rewards in Heaven that a awaits those who are in Christ have are about people. Not gold, silver etc for the sake of gold, silver etc. Our lives will be reviewed for what we have done in our bodies FOR JESUS CHRIST. Not for anything else.
Do the look in the mirror thing often and see if you see signs of looking like Jesus or looking like yourself.
Prayer is the main tool to deal with life and all that will come at you. Be brutally honest in your prayer life. Hold nothing back in areas where the Spirit is bringing conviction. Repent, get right with God, move on. His Name is on your forehead. You represent Him. To steal a movie line, with great power comes great responsibility. We have the power of the resurrection at work in us. It was never going to work under a basket.
We have work to do that's going to go against the world's definitions of what makes up life. Pray often, pray intensely. Pray with all honesty. Pray unselfishly.
Jesus said that He's coming soon...will you be happy to see Him or afraid because you lived for yourself? A life of ease might not be what reaches others for Christ Jesus. Not getting out of life what you want might not reach others for Christ Jesus. Living a life of discomfort might be what reaches others for Christ Jesus. Be who God the Father intended you to be in Christ and see what happens next.
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