Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Who or What do You Love More Than Jesus?

Who or What do You Love More than Jesus? 
by David Brenneman 

"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose on their behalf." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NASB 

We look for rest in our own ways.  

We look for peace in our own understanding. 

We look for all that seems right to us, that brings us what we want of life.  

But what does it say in Ecclesiastes? Be mindful that in every way the writer of Ecclesiastes sought after everything that his heart could desire.  What did he conclude?  It was all striving after the wind.  Was worthless. Was useless. 

When we come to Christ for salvation our desires for life ought to begin being transformed to those desires that the Spirit places in our hearts and minds.  

Striving after success as the world calls success will inevitably end up as a failing before Jesus.  This world is not our home. In today's world consider your vacations that you might have gone on. Probably fantastic locations or meeting famous people.  Did those places and people define you for the rest of your life?  You were visiting and were not staying. 

In becoming a Christian you have transferred your citizenship to Heaven.  What is important in that place ought to be important to you.  Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost.  Is that important to you? And that's just 1.

It's going to be rough insisting on living differently.  Those who aren't saved, who haven't found salvation in Christ Jesus alone, are not going to get it, not understand it.  It's just not possible until they come to that place, just as we have, and the Spirit opens their eyes. 

Many times we still try to find a balance between this world and the Kingdom of God.  What can we do that doesn't offend everyone and at the same time pleases God.  Yesterday, a very good friend went home to be with Jesus. His montra to me when we talked about struggles in my life was always "Give it to God!".  

The rest that Jesus gives begins in this life.  Maybe in small ways, maybe in every facet of our lives.  It depends on where we are in regards to our growth in Christ Jesus.  How far along we are in that transformation process as mentioned in Romans 12.  We also read that He who began a work in us will continue it until the day of Christ Jesus. What Jesus started in us as His workmanship He's going to finish.

We find that life often doesn't make sense.

It's because we are trying to use our own understanding. 

In Proverbs it says to lean not on our own understanding, And in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.   

Our own understanding gets us into selfish ways and living.  We tend to cater to self before we want to cater to what the Spirit wants for us. 

All the accolades of this world are but rubbish before Christ Jesus. 
All the praise and honor of men among men is but rubbish. 

We who are in Christ are not to seek our own will to be done on Earth.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.  

It's a guaranteed thing that if you turned aside to go after something and you departed the path that the Spirit had you on, then you're in trouble.  It matters not the reason. Doesn't matter if people were being difficult. Doesn't matter what our perception of those around us was. If we departed the path of God for us, we're in trouble.  Sure life might have gotten easier. Life might, for the moment, might seem wonderful.  Satan's not going to bother you if you're going down the path he wants for you.  You're doing fine all by yourself. 

2 Corinthians 5 that we began this post with reminds us that we no longer live for ourselves.  I have a great many things in this life that I would love to go after, to achieve, but if those things divert me from what God's plan for me is in Christ Jesus, I don't want them.

I don't want whatever draws me away from God.  Do you?

It breaks my heart to see people who used to be so strong in the Lord no longer walking with Jesus the way they used to.  

To see them turning away from what they could have been in Christ.  It's extremely heartbreaking.  They've found their cushy worldly job now and at what cost?  They're no longer pointing people to Jesus.  That's the cost.  Life became about them and not them living for Jesus. They're becoming those who said they did many things in His name of whom they don't see He isn't happy with.  They left their first love.  If they hadn't they would have striven to stay true to the path God set before them regardless of their own understanding.

Jonah had an understanding that needed correction.  He still didn't want it because he wanted his will to be done.  He wanted his enemies in Nineveh to be destroyed. 

I was reading the contempt in the priest of God in the Old Testament this morning that I hadn't seen before.  Young Samuel was told of what the Lord was going to do to that priest.  His response was along the lines of "He is Lord, let Him do what seems good to Him." As if!

We're often times not going to understand the why's behind our lives.  We are instructed to do. To go. To obey. 

Lean not on our own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  It doesn't say He will explain it all to you so that you'll feel more comfortable about it. 

Oh the rest that Jesus does bring when we leave it to Him.  

We who are in Christ can't live to please Him and the world.  We can't live life to get what we want out of it by discarding His will for you and I.

We do not want to put our wants, needs, desires to be above what the Spirit wants for us as we grow in Christ Jesus. 

We do not want to love the world nor the things in the world.  By the way that's not a Biblical suggestion. That's a command. 

We aren't to love anymore or anything above our love for Jesus.  He said so. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself.  He who loves father, mother, sister or brother more than me is not worthy of Me. Love not the world nor the things of this world.  

"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose on their behalf." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NASB 

If indeed you're now seeing that you're guilty of such things, turn around and return to Jesus.  He who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins is what we read in the New Testament. 

Return to your life in Christ as He wants of you.  

He only wants what's best for us if only we would trust Him.  

"Come, every soul by sin oppressed,
There’s mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His Word.

Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.

For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
That washes white as snow.

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way,
That leads you into rest;
Believe in Him without delay
And you are fully blest.

Come, then, and join this holy band,
And on to glory go,
To dwell in that celestial land
Where joys immortal flow." 

-John Stockton 1873

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