Tuesday, April 2, 2024

What Does It Get You?

What Does It Get You?
by David Brenneman 

‭"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,  instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." Titus 2:11-14

‭"Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned." Titus 3:1-11.

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26.

It's a worthwhile question to ask of yourself.  What does it profit a man or woman who pursues what the Bible says are worthless endeavors?   

In Jeremiah 35, the Lord Jesus commended a faithful family for their obedience to the words of their ancestor.  He said that family earned the right to never lack a man to stand before Him.  The lesson being that those in Jerusalem weren't listening to the words of life that the Lord was again and again trying to impart to them.  The next chapter in Jeremiah the words of Jesus were so disdainful that the King never listened to them all...he took the book and burned it after cutting it.  

Do the words of Jesus mean something to you?  Are you taking them as 'suggestions' rather than as the Holy Word of God?  Do you consider the Bible as 'optional' to living life?  That it has good thoughts and not much else?  

The Bible is, from Genesis to Revelation, God's love letter to mankind.  It's the entirety of all that is on the heart of God the Father concerning His creation. The lengths that He's gone to try to convey His love for mankind. His Son Jesus who became sin in our place so that we might become the righteousness of God for all who believe.

In this great love letter we read of the Spirit of God teaching us how to live life in Christ Jesus in a way that honors that love. 

It's forgiveness, it's mercy, it's grace, it's preferring one another above ourselves.  It's all that and more. 

"but just as it is written: “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the human heart, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”" 1 Corinthians 2:9.

We are, through our obedience and in taking up our own cross and following Jesus, learning just what it means to be Christ-like.  What it means to be Christ to this fallen world.  We will only learn what living really is by putting ourselves second to the rule of God in us.

What does it really get you to live for you? It's worthless currency.  It's monopoly money.  It's, ironically, the game of life money.  We live in an era that spends billions on entertainment and in Biblical reality self-destruction.  

We gain emotional highs by spending gobs of money to either try to feel better or to feel nothing.  Normal scares too many people to stay that way.  So they seek chemicals to create a new normal.

We spend and spend and bury ourselves in debt and stress.  Companies provide, then berate, employees for actually using vacation time or personal time off.

Churches these days are popping up like daisy's that only provide emotional cake and cookies each Sunday rather than the truth of God's word.  That sin is real in the eyes of God and Jesus is the answer to what's wrong with the world.

People, just like that King, tear up the Word of God, throw it in the fire because they think they know how to live life better than some old words on a page.

Adam and Eve listened to Satan in thinking they knew how to get a better life than what the Lord Jesus had instructed them to live and do in life.

Certainly gives you something to think about doesn't it?  

Are you prosperous by the hand of God yet withhold blessing someone else whom He’s put in your life to help?  Are you the Levite/Priest who goes right on by someone in need rather than being like the Good Samaritan?  Are you taking time to plant the Word of God in your heart each day?  Are you investing in your relationship with Jesus every day?

If guilt is hitting you, then good!  Maybe it's really the Spirit finally getting through to you.  But will you listen?  Those priests of Jeremiah's day were heavily concerned about the words of Jeremiah...but not concerned enough to keep those words protected. Jeremiah was instructed to rewrite the whole book again.

If maybe you're seeing your life differently now...then good!  Each Believer has spiritual eyes...when the Spirit opens them...that's always a good thing.  

The worst kind of person to be is one who's apathetic to the words of the Spirit in their lives.  Where they get and get and get blessed by God and yet do not bless in return.  Then wonder why the blessings get cut off.  King Solomon was probably blessed more than any other human being.  Yet he fell into more temptations than probably any other as well. He lost sight of his relationship with Jesus and it cost him dearly. He inadvertently taught his sons that a relationship with God wasn't just optional but wasn't necessarily true. 

What does your day look like? 
What are you making a priority?  What Jesus wants of you or what you want of you? 

Read again what Paul said to Titus. 
Consider the words n don't throw them into the fire as all too many professing Christians do.  All too many people sitting in pews, sitting at home watching church services online...take what the Spirit prepared for them and toss it into the fire rather than doubling down on living obediently in Christ Jesus.

When we discard what we are being taught by God through the Spirit we are throwing it into the fire just the same. 

Jesus often got away to talk to His Father.  It wasn't just a "Hi! How's it going?" conversation.  Jesus was after whatever was important to His Father's purpose for His being here. Removing either Himself from the distractions of the enemy of God or going headlong into them to destroy the foothold of the Devil.

We're here for a purpose.  

We're here also to grow in Christ Jesus...into His character. 

What is your life getting you if you're not living for Jesus in all that you do?  Pray about finding your purpose in the body of Christ. The Spirit put you in a specific role as a specific part. We don't choose those things. We don't choose to be an eye or a hand when He needs us to be the leg.  

Think about all the things that you have made a priority.  Do those align with a life in Godliness in Christ Jesus? 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation. 

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