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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.17    It’s Not Optional???

 

I’d like us to take some time today to consider Who we belong to. Even we who follow Jesus, often spend so much time thinking about ‘self’ that we fall into the trap of the world and order our lives without due consideration of what God and His Son Jesus are calling us to “be” and ‘do’! We often forget that we have given our life to Jesus! We also seem to forget that we belong to Jesus when we choose to trust Him, believing in His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for our sin, and His saving grace that we have received.

What?

know ye not that your body

is the temple

of the Holy Ghost

which is in you,

which ye have of God,

and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body,

and in your spirit,

which are God’s.”    1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Jesus makes it clear that we are either His children or we are the children of the enemy of mankind; and when we belong to Jesus, we are called to “take up our cross and follow” Him! He calls us to die to self and live unto HIM in all our ways, and that is not optional. Let’s consider the commands of Jesus and what He both calls us to be and do, as well as what He warns us about in our future when we do! What “god” are you sacrificing yourself to? (See Eph.2)

This is my commandment,

That ye love one another,

as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life

for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends,

if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants;

for the servant knoweth not

what his lord doeth:

but I have called you friends;

for all things that I have heard

of my Father

I have made known unto you.

16 Ye have not chosen me,

but I have chosen you,

and ordained you,

that ye should go

and bring forth fruit,

and that your fruit should remain:

that whatsoever ye shall ask

of the Father

in my name,

he may give it you.

17 These things I command you,

that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you,

ye know that it hated me

before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world,

the world would love his own:

but because ye are not of the world,

but I have chosen you

out of the world,

therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you,

The servant is not greater

than his lord.

If they have persecuted me,

they will also persecute you;

if they have kept my saying,

they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you

for my name’s sake,

because they know not him

that sent me.”   John 15:12-21

This is a message that we don’t hear much about these days! When we hear about persecution of believers, we often consider it optional, or inconceivable that Christians should suffer for their faith. But Jesus Himself told us that it would come. He wanted to prepare us for the truth that when we choose to follow Him, to trust in Him as our Lord and Savior, we could expect to be treated as HE was—when we act as HE did. Speaking the truth of God to a lost and dying world. Speaking HIS truth in love! The love of God that enables us to recognize truth, and reject the lies of the enemy—and we do have an enemy.

Jesus said unto them,

If God were your Father,

ye would love me:

for I proceeded forth and came from God;

neither came I of myself,

but he sent me.

43 Why do ye not understand my speech?

even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil,

and the lusts of your father

ye will do.

He was a murderer

from the beginning,

and abode not in the truth,

because there is no truth in him.

When he speaketh a lie,

he speaketh of his own:

for he is a liar,

and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth,

ye believe me not.” John 8:42-45

Truth is spiritually discerned, and only God can reveal Himself and His truth to each of us!

But as it is written,

Eye hath not seen,

nor ear heard,

neither have entered into the heart of man,

the things which God hath prepared

for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us

by his Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things,

yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man,

save the spirit of man

which is in him?

even so the things of God

knoweth no man,

but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received,

not the spirit of the world,

but the spirit

which is of God;

that we might know the things

that are freely given to us

of God.

13 Which things also we speak,

not in the words

which man’s wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;

comparing spiritual things

with spiritual.

14 But the natural man

receiveth not the things

of the Spirit of God:

for they are foolishness unto him:

neither can he know them,

because they are spiritually

discerned.”   1 Corinthians 2:9-14

I simply want to call each of us to consider that serving Jesus with our whole being isn’t optional—it is the call of God on every child of HIS!

But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe

on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.” John 1:12-13

Are you and I behaving like “sons of God”, or have we allowed the tarnish of the world to dim His glory in us? Have you come to Jesus, and received His life-transforming new birth? Have you heard the voice of God calling you to Himself? If you have heard His voice, I pray that you will receive Him today! You can only come when HIS Spirit draws and calls to repentance and faith—that revealing of truth to lost and darkened hearts! Or do you have ears that don’t hear and eyes that won’t see?

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.” Isaiah 6:9

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” Isaiah 64:4

Only God can open blinded eyes, and stopped up ears! But He will open them for those who will respond to His call.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.” John 14:6

No man can come to me,

except the Father which hath sent me

draw him:

and I will raise him up at the last day.

45 It is written in the prophets,

And they shall be all taught of God.

Every man therefore that hath heard,

and hath learned of the Father,

cometh unto me.” John 6:44-45

Jesus is growing His own into His image, and He works tirelessly accomplishing His work in us (See Ro. 8:28-29)! Do you have eyes and ears that are open to the Savior? If so, yield to His work in your heart, mind and life today, if you know Him. Won’t you renew your devotion and commitment to Jesus, and walk in His ways, reflecting His Glory and His Word!!! . If you don’t know Him, you can!

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

Only one cause—SIN!!! Only One cure—JESUS!!!

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

The choice is optional—the consequence is NOT!!! The choice is yours! Choose wisely, there is a test!