by David Brenneman
A year ago was the day we announced we were in contract to move. Weeks of intense downsizing and we weren't done. We really began many months earlier but now it was coming down to the wire. Our realtor here would do what seemed impossible to us and actually found a storage unit for us to use. Due to the virus we were on our own in moving.
Yet in Christ we weren't alone.
In constant daily prayer we moved along inch by inch. Obstacles were discovered and God cast them aside. He wasn't going to let anything get in the way of our moving. Why? Not because of us or how good people we were. Because of what then? We were moving to further our sanctification in Christ Jesus. We wanted a life closer to Jesus. We wanted to be where we needed to be to grow in Christ.
Guess what? God not only wants that for us, He wants it for you too.
What things are you surrounding yourself with that are not helping you grow closer to what you are supposed to be in Christ?
Are your activities in line with that of a Believer in Christ? A Christ follower?
Are you daily reading your Bible?
Are you in as constant a prayer as is practical and possible?
Is your work life honoring to God?
Is your home life honoring to God?
Are your hobbies honoring to Him?
If not, as the graphic says, it needs to go.
We read from Paul to cast aside what's holding us down. To shed whatever isn't helping our sanctification. We aren't supposed to be making suggestions to Jesus while He's working on us as His workmanship. We aren't supposed to bargain for what we want to keep. We are to follow His example as He prayed to His Heavenly Father "Your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven".
Jesus didn't live the life He did for His own purposes or pleasure. He lived it to save lives. He did it to be obedient to His Father. He gave up every perfect thing in Heaven to come to this sin cursed world to save.
Isn't that at all more important than your hobbies, your personal tastes, your own lifestyle? The Disciples stated that they gave up everything to follow Jesus. Their wants, their desires, their vocation, in many, even their families.
We can't love anything or anyone more than we love the living Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Matthew 10:37-39 NASB "The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life will lose it, and the one who has lost his life on My account will find it."
Jesus is to be our All in All.
When we do leave this world we take nothing with us.
When we look at the Old Testament, the utter hatred of idolatry by Jesus is profoundly explicit. If Jesus hates it, showed the world through the punishment towards His own chosen people, shouldn't we stand up and take notice?
People dance around word usage in order to stay in sins they don't want to give up.
Do you hoard rather than find ways to help others?
Do you insist on coveting things you shouldn't?
Do you lift up things in this world higher than your obedience to God's Word?
Are you truly abiding in His vine?
Are you bearing fruit in accordance with repentance? Are you intentional about your life in Christ as one who has taken up your own cross to follow Jesus?
If not, why not? If you stood before Jesus in the next few minutes, what answer would you give as to why you should be let into His Heaven? Because of how good a person you were? Not good enough. Because of anything isn't good enough if it isn't because of Jesus Christ.
We ought to live God honoring lives at all times. There no off the clock time in that life. No time where we can truthfully indulge in sin in order to ask forgiveness later and not honestly mean it, for we're willing to do it again.
In the book of Romans Paul wrote of practiced sin. Intentional, deliberate, sins that we know we ought not to be participating in yet choose to do.
Are you doing any? Are you running from what God's got in mind for you to be doing? Are you willing to tell Him "your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven"?
Food for thought for today: look at your surroundings. Just that. Look at what you've spent money on. What does it say about your walk with Jesus?
Read this from Dr. Charles Stanley, Life Principle 16:
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