Sunday, September 11, 2022
by David Brenneman
Reading between the lines...
Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, (Jesus)
whatever is noble, (Jesus)
whatever is right, (Jesus)
whatever is pure, (Jesus)
whatever is lovely, (Jesus)
whatever is admirable, (Jesus)
-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy (Jesus)
think about these things!
There's nothing and nobody who fits the passage's high levels of expectation as Jesus! There's certainly nothing to look at in this world that compares. The things and people of this world we live and move amongst vie for the same!
We who are in Christ Jesus have the opportunity that's the same as the Disciples...to become Disciples requires seeking whatever Jesus says is important.
Ephesians 4:29 NASB "Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear."
Colossians 3:17 NASB ""Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
There's that word "all" again.
I was looking back over past sermon series at our church and one in particular reminded me of a sermon in it about being "all in". Are you all in with Jesus? Are you living your best for the one who saved you from the penalty of sin and death? Are you fulfilling your calling in Christ Jesus? Are you keeping the faith?
These aren't heavy questions, they are real questions. Are you setting your mind on things above or only on what you want out of life down here? Have you been blessed yet don't bless others? Do you spend your time, energy and efforts on what God wants of you or do you spend it on you?
Knowing what it is that God's plans for you are and doing them aren't the same thing. Knowing and doing amounts to obedience if doing with the right heart attitude.
Jonah didn't have a whatever attitude that was positive. Jonah didn't like where Jesus wanted him to go so he went the opposite way. He used Godly sounding phrases as excuses for why he shouldn't have gone in the first place.
Daniel and his friends went to and through things no matter what those things looked like. Their minds were set on things above.
Joseph set his mind on things above when he explained to his family that they meant it for evil but God meant it for good.
Job's family and friends, save one, didn't get it either until Jesus was done talking to Job. Then their theology on God was corrected.
We can't live for self and live for Jesus too. We have a calling in Christ Jesus that is irrevocable according to Romans.
We have a responsibility since we were sent out into His fields to work to do the work we were sent to do.
We will face every form of distraction known to man to keep our minds on the things of this world. We will face disappointments that make us not look to Jesus for peace and comfort. We will hear from Satan and his minions as to how much we have failed. We will hear from people as to their criticism and complaints for our lives in Christ Jesus. It's written that those who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer.
But...whatever! Daniel said that in going into the lions den. His friends said that in going through the firey furnace. Isaiah said it to the Lord Jesus Christ personally. Whatever was wanted or needed they would go and they did go.
Are you all in? Are you in your attire, your music, your reading, your eating, your behavior in private as well as in public all in for living for Jesus? Are you all in concerning your calling in Christ Jesus?
The Disciples brought this up to Jesus.
"Then Peter responded and said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms on account of My name, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last, first." Matthew 19:27-30 NASB
Note those words of Peter. "...have left everything..."
Are you willing to do whatever Jesus asks of you? He says His burden is easy and His load is light...do you trust Him in this?
Look around you.
Look at what you collect.
What you buy for yourself.
What you listen to for music.
What you watch in movies and television or YouTube.
What takes up the time granted to you for a life in Christ Jesus.
Are you being a busy body or are you truly serving? Are you looking to hear from Jesus "Well done!" or are you just looking to get into Heaven? We all will give an account of our deeds we have done, those given to us to do, in the body.
Isaiah was "Here am I, send me!"
Daniel and his friends refused to worship anyone else but God.
Joseph refused to live a life that wasn't God honoring.
What will the account of your life show?