Wednesday, September 27, 2023
by David Brenneman
"But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.” These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God."
John 12:37-43 NASB1995
We will likely have a mix of joy and shame when we stand before Jesus someday. All doubts, big and small, removed. All variations of doctrines, philosophies, theologies corrected. All of our choices we made, turning left when turning right was what we were to do and vice-versa. All those moments when we spoke up as the Spirit directed and those times when silence should have prevailed.
So in this here and this now, why DO you do what you do? What drives your choices? Are you seeking the approval of God or of men? Are titles that important to you? Would you be the same person if you didn't have them?
The battlefield is not in this physical world, it's in your heart and mind. Your life in Christ will have daily decisions for you to make on how you will live each day. Will you seek God's help in living this day the way He would like you to, or will you just see how it goes and try to adjust to it all?
Does the sheep tell the shepherd where they will go and what they will do? Think about that.
Jesus said His sheep hear His voice...and what? Follow Him. When Jesus describes the Good Shepherd, He describes Himself. He tells of how He will, not would, go after even the 1 sheep that went astray. The reality of will go after vs would go after is the immediacy of the action.
So many Believer's today are not realizing that Satan's trying every single method to silence them and their example before men and women. He is pushing legislation in every way imaginable to keep people from living out their lives for Jesus Christ. Because he knows the truth of God's word. That those who live their lives in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven...Satan will try to get you to follow suit!
He will use public embarrassment. He will use situations to get you to not stand your ground, to not stand firm. When we suit up in the full armor of God, it comes at a price. We will get the attention of the enemy of God.
When we put popularity ahead of God we will eventually lose.
When the opinion of people matters more than what God has said...we will lose.
The road may look hard and arduous.
The road may look dark and ominous.
Jesus said to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world.
Look in the mirror. When you look at what you did just yesterday alone...who did you serve? You or Jesus? Colossians 3:23-25 "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."
Which do you want to hear when you stand before Jesus? "Well done" or "Why did you?".
To take up our own cross and follow Him points us towards His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven, not ours. Ours is nailed to that cross.
Our world uses every single form of seduction to get us to embrace what we "deserve" and what all isn't so bad. Things that we supposedly "earned".
We earned, deserved, the punishment for our own sins. We came to Christ and His righteousness was imputed to us. In response, we're to live for Jesus.
So, my Dear Reader, what reasons do you consider when you do life? What is important to you? Are you more concerned at personal embarrassment in living life for Jesus than you are at doing so? Are you afraid of losing your position and your place in society? Is living a life that is as God honoring as you can do feeling like it's a huge burden?
Are you at all looking to hear "Well done!" from Jesus?
So what that you might "miss out" on this thing or that thing. If Jesus decided that today you were going to be with Him, would that matter?
What if Jesus appeared to you and asked you to spend today with Him, would you just clear your schedule or ask Him dumb questions like: For how long? Where are we going? Or would you just go with Jesus? Would you really care about what you missed in this day if that's who wanted to spend the day with you? Would excuses, reasons, pour from your lips?
Truth is...Jesus does want to spend today with you.
Truth is...you need to decide if He does or doesn't.
Truth is...will you?
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.