Saturday, April 8, 2023

Is that Your Best?

Is that Your Best?
by David Brenneman 

Our best is the level of effort we're to put into our life in Christ. Not leftovers. Not whenever it's convenient. 

We recognize tomorrow the ultimate sacrifice of what is the epitome of giving the absolute best in service to God. The sacrifice of Jesus on a cross.  What we also sometimes forget is He could have easily been half-hearted about it much as we are often doing in our own days in which we live our lives. 

Colossians 3:23-25 NASB says ""Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For the one who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."

Mark 12:30-31 NASB "'and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Colossians 3:2 NASB "Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth."

Luke 9:57-62 NASB "As they were going on the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say goodbye to those at my home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

We read in what just these is a description of what we read of the instructions from Moses to the people of Israel. A fully devoted follower of Christ Jesus is what God desires of us. A heart that's not divided. A heart that is living in obedience.
A heart that puts what God wants above what it desires. 

When you look at your life, there's no doubt there's division in your heart. It's the struggle between the sin nature and the new nature in Christ.  We will struggle, but we have an Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ. We have the Helper, the Paraclete, the another of the same kind as the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit. 

We are easily distracted.  We easily don't look for the hooks in the shiny things that get our attention and draw us in. By the time we do we're in deep. 

We begin to believe the lies of of how we're missing out on all the good things in life by being FULLY devoted followers of Christ Jesus.  We believe the lies that we should be able to mix it up.  Maybe 60/40 or 75/25, if we're daring 50/50. That's not what Jesus said.  Jesus shows us throughout the Old Testament that when we give sin an inch it takes a mile. He had the Spirit write those examples as instructions so that we can learn from the mistakes of others. 

We do not lose out on living life by following Jesus. We find life. We find a live lived when it's lived with the right motivation. 

Look honestly at your life. Are you giving your best to Jesus in your relationship with Him?  Are you making excuses for "me" time?  Being persistent in insisting on what you want in life rather than what God says is necessary for your sanctification?

You are not promised happiness as defined by the world. You're made promises as defined by God. His idea of happiness, of love, of peace, isn't at all what the world calls it. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. A Disciple of Jesus is to become just like His or Her Master, Jesus Christ. To learn to want the same thing, to interpret life the same way, to love as He loves, to obey as He obeyed.

Have you given Jesus Christ your best?
Are you making excuses for not doing so?

Jesus could have easily made excuses not to go through the worldly Hell of crucifixion but He didn't. Dying on a cross where probably hundreds died before Him.  He said that we must deny ourselves, take up our own cross and follow Him. 

Is this you?  Are you giving your best to the Master?

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