Bible Ballistics: BBs #227 How Goes It???
I’d like to share a challenge today to all of us who claim to follow Jesus. Jesus, the one who came to pay the price for MY sin, and yours. The one who went to the cross to “die” in our place, for all who will believe in HIM–the only way—the only Savior, the only one who gives us eternal life. I join with Paul in desiring to have only one focus—and that focus and directing purpose of life is “Jesus”.
“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
What does our life reflect? It will reflect what is within (as we talked about last time) and it will reflect that which we love. Just like grandparents, who are consumed with their grandchildren—and everyone knows they have grandchildren; we should be so consumed with the love of Jesus! But there is a price to pay when we follow Jesus with a love and passion that is single-minded. People can be passionate about school, sports, arts, clothes, position, promotion or popularity; but don’t have that kind of passion toward Jesus. That’s being fanatical! Do we have that kind of passion for the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom? We can, but there is that price we mentioned above:
“And he said to them all,
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life
shall lose it:
but whosoever will lose his life
for my sake,
the same shall save it.” Lk. 9:23-24
Jesus calls us to deny self? Isn’t that “un-American”? Well, it doesn’t matter if it is; Jesus calls us to live this way to reflect a changed heart and life!!! What does this mean? Let’s examine the call:
Deny self— “I” don’t come first—Jesus does, and then others. Like the old acronym says, there is only one way to have the real ‘JOY’ of The Lord, to put things in the proper order:
We are also called to take up our “cross”. Many write this off to the burdens and difficulties that we face in normal living, but I would beg to differ. Jesus is calling us to “die” to ourselves and live ‘to’ Him. Paul says it so concisely:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:20-21
And I am to follow Jesus–not just on one or two days a week, when I am at church, but I am to live for HIM every moment of every day. To bring glory to Him by ministering to others as I walk through this crazy world, and that means I must make myself aware of those around me. James said it better than I could:
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” James 2:15-16
We are not to spend our time talking about the needs of others, but doing what we can to meet them as we have opportunity and ability. It also means that my opportunities may be different from yours. But that when we see a need, we should ask God if that’s a need “I” can meet. Whether it’s a burger and drink for someone who is hungry, or a child who needs a coat, we are to see with the eyes of Jesus, and do what we can–NOW. And on a personal note, I make it a habit NOT to give cash that can be misused, but to give in whatever way is appropriate to the need. And also to do it anonymously when at all possible, except to acknowledge that it is from Jesus and to the glory of God.
So what will you see today? I don’t know, but God does! So I challenge each of us to walk forward with the love of Jesus in our hearts and see what He sees as we look at those around us, watching for those opportunities to be a blessing to someone today.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
Come, ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ………
And the King shall answer and say unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:34, 40
What have you done to Jesus? Or NOT?