Sunday, December 3, 2023
by David Brenneman
We all decide either to bid Him come in or we don't.
We all decide, if indeed we asked Him to save us, to rule and reign in our hearts or to sit in a corner while we go about living life.
We decide how much obedience is enough rather than to wholly rely on the word of God.
We decide sometimes without realizing it.
Choice is what came from the cross of Jesus Christ. The choice to come to Christ or to reject. The choice to listen or tell Him to talk to the hand.
The examples of the first disciples show that choosing to leave self behind all the time is central to being a follower of Jesus Christ. As Jesus said "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."
From eating to decision making, that covers everything. It's not something meant to be harsh with regards to our desires, but is meant to show is a still better way. Jesus also said "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?".
Perhaps another way of looking at this is...where were the Disciples priorities? What was being taught to them to be important to the work of the Father?
Satan's most easiest go-to is "Did God really say...". Somewhere on his list are convincing Believer's that they were only blessed in order to spend those blessings on themselves. That they were certainly blessed in order to go enjoy the world.
We read in the Book of Acts, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and other places of the true Church being taught to edify one another. To help meet one another's burdens. To help them to grow in Christ Jesus. Wow, interestingly enough, much the same as what they learned from the Disciples turned Apostles.
Only God knows what's going on in the hearts of men and women. Only He knows where He truly stands in your heart. You may think that you know, but He knows your heart better than you. He is truth and there's no shifting shadows in Him. He isn't deceived by any personal thoughts or worldly thinking.
He knows where He stands with you.
How can this also be said? Note very clearly that when Jesus separates those who are saved from those who are not...He never asked a question. No survey on the life lived was handed out. Nobody will need to say a word. The Spirit testifies by acknowledging that a man's or woman's name is written in the Lamb's book of Life. Jesus always knows who is in that book.
So where does Jesus fit into your life? Is getting your way more important than learning from Him? Is getting what you want more important than obeying?
Questions have been asked of what the phrase "President and not resident" of our hearts means. The President has absolute rights to direct what is done, when it's done and whether or not it will be done. The resident is a visitor with only superficial rights and permissions. In computer terms it's the difference between an Administrator and a Guest account. An Administrator can make any changes desired. A Guest needs the permission of the Administrator.
What is Jesus Christ to you? Really. Just what does His Name mean to you? Doing good things for yourself and others will never get your name written in that Book of Life. Wholly relying on the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His substitutionary atonement for our sins does. Faith in His work on the cross and not of ourselves.
Scripture says that if it were possible for mankind to save themselves then Jesus died needlessly.
This Christmas time...stop and consider just what Jesus is to you in your life. Jesus as a "good man" a "good friend" or a smile to "the man upstairs" will get you a one-way ticket to Hell. Jesus as your living Lord and Savior will get you escorted to your place in Heaven with Him.
Nobody is promised a single breath.
It's not an involuntarily physical response.
It's a gift from God. Merry Christmas.