by David Brenneman
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:24-25 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.”" Mark 12:30-31 NASB
How much effort do you think you put into your walk with Jesus? These 3 passages from 3 of the 4 Gospels speak to what Jesus is after...that which the Father is after...considering that Jesus often got away to talk to His Father about what He wanted taught.
Are you aiming to be a fully devoted follower of Christ Jesus?
Or are you, honestly, giving Jesus the leftovers of your heart? Is the Spirit of God within you getting your all or is He getting whatever you care to give in a the moment?
Do you view your participation as enough or are you truly interested in what it is God wants to do in your life?
I remember a song from not so long ago that begs the question: Is your all on the altar?
In my memories of a year or so ago on Facebook, I had quoted the song "I'm so glad I met Jesus..."
Are you grateful to the point of full obedience and the result being a changed life that others see and can't help but glorify God on account of what they see in you?
Are you more interested in the glory going to you instead? Ouch.
Are you more interested in things of this world that, while they take up your time-and you probably thoroughly enjoy them, do nothing to point people to Jesus?
Truth is Jesus spoke of what the Father wanted to see in Believers.
Truth is we are all tempted to do as the world and go our own way.
Truth is we are not giving God our all.
We are told by Jesus to be alert...are you?
We are told that the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, that is to destroy. Don't you believe this to be true?
What did Jesus also say? Oh yes. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What can a man or woman give in exchange for their soul?
Jesus said that it's a very good thing for those whom He finds ready for Him when He returns. Would that be you?
Look about your home. Is it littered with what the Bible calls idols? Do you wear clothing laced with symbols of idolatry with a sense of pride? You think it's funny? The millions who died in the early Church didn't abide by idolatry. By standing on the promises of God they were put to death. Idolatry takes on countless forms in our world.
It seeps into our thinking to change our ways before God.
We get hurt by people and rather than stand strong in the Lord, we run. We let them change who we are in Christ Jesus.
We spend millions across this world daily to propagate idolatry. People get far far more offended at someone's "team" being derided than they ever do at the Lord's name being taken in vain.
Some, do the same for the company they work for. Get far more offended by coworkers who aren't happy with the company than they are for the things those people are going through.
Jesus wants all of you. Not weekend visitation.
The Spirit wants to do more with you, are you willing to let go of self to make it happen?
Jesus is coming soon, will He find you a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only?
Jesus sent us all out into the world to make Disciples, teaching them to do all that He commanded. If you aren't learning what He commanded how can you teach others? If other things in life are more important to you that don't need to be, how would you know what God is wanting to do in and through you?
Are you a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ or not? Is God getting your everything?
It may seem inconsequential, but I was convicted years ago concerning even sports teams receiving my passion. Same with things from television or movies. I wear no apparel that points people's thoughts towards things of this world. I do have clothing from memorable places that I visited or have worked, but to wear them with pride...oh absolutely not.
Is your all on the altar? Is ALL of your heart available to the Spirit to do with as He pleases? Are you open to Him doing that extreme makeover, that transformation, into the character of Christ in you?
In reading of all things, obituaries, you indeed get a glimpse of what people were about. Would people even know by reading yours if you had a vibrant relationship with Jesus? Or would yours be about everything else you were involved with?
I'm so glad I met Jesus...didn't know what I needed...oh now that I've seen Him I have nothing left to hide...
Are you hiding things from Jesus? You DO realize that's an impossible task?
Paul taught to examine ourselves...when you do in this moment, would you be happy with your life if it were presented to Jesus as a gift?
Interesting food for thought today...would you be honest with you today?
It may mean painful choices needing to be made to empty your life of things, of thoughts, of some of your way of life.
Those who took up their cross in the judgment that Jesus Himself did and is describing...could not carry anything else at the same time. Nothing at all.
Anything can turn into an idol in your life from thoughts to exercise and your health.
Would Jesus be happy with what you call your everything, when in truth it really isn't your everything that He's getting?
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