…"But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!" 2Tim. 2:9
Through the years since the life of Jesus Christ on this earth, the gospel, or good news of God, has changed and evolved into different guides and peramiters that we have put it in.
Simply believe on Jesus and His shed blood on the cross, and you’re saved. Nothing more. It’s nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all true, but A man’s professed faith may be nothing more than mental assent to a well-known fact. Such intellectual agreement involves no commitment of the person, and does not produce a transformed life. It is not enough to believe in the existence of God. True, this is essential, but it is not sufficient. Even the demons believe in the existence of God and they shudder at the thought of their eventual punishment by Him. (James 2:19)
The word believe carries with it much more than just an intellectual accent to this existence of God. I think our human nature is always willing to give just what I have to to get by and no more.
Look at all the failed marriages in America today. People that believed and vowed their alligence to one person, until death due they part, but when life starts to crash against us, and spill it’s waves inside our boats, we look for the first way out. Where is our love and commitment when these storms arise?
There was the rich young ruler who asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him to keep the commandments, and he replied that he wholeheartedly has kept all of them. He had kept the law, the rules and regulations that the law required, he had done just enough, but what was Jesus reply?
“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was extremely wealthy.” Luke 18:22-23
Jesus told him that he still lacked something, and that was a real commitment from the heart, and he couldn’t do that because his money was filling that empty spot in his heart. Jesus said get rid of that money and I will fill that empty place in your heart with Me.
Jesus knew what he was thinking and told him, ” don’t worry because you will have treasure in heaven.” Sadly the rich young ruler couldn’t make a real commitment. He turned and walked away.
I’ll bet that rich young ruler looked real good in church on Sunday. Probably was the head of a men’s bible study, maybe even an elder in his church, and even helped people out with his money, but where was his heart really?
There is the story of the lawyer in Luke 10:25-37, who asks the same question of Jesus and this time Jesus goes further with His answer with a story of His own, about the good Samaritan. It is more then just doing what you have to do to get by, if you aren’t willing to live it, then you haven’t made a real commitment.
Peter also made such a commitment to Jesus. After Jesus told them of His death and how they would all scatter and leave Him alone., Peter turned to Jesus and vowed that even if everyone else ran off, he would never leave, as a matter of fact, he would even give his life for Jesus.
Peter meant what he said and Jesus knew that, and Peter’s life proved it, but he had it all wrong, it was Jesus who would lay His life down for him. Peter’s heart was in the right place, but Jesus knew that he was still going to have to go through more training. Remember what Jesus told him;
Luke 22:31 “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” Satan wanted to get at Peter because he was a leader and his heart was 100% sold out to Jesus.
Jesus never taught easy believism. Whether He was telling the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and follow Him or telling a crowd of people, who were only looking for the next miracle, that to do the work of God was to believe on Him, (John 6:28-29), He called for people to abandon their own agenda and trust Him radically. Radical trust calls for both believing and acting upon that belief.
Love is believing and committing, and always followed with action. Any other way is not real.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt. 16:24-25
David understood one of the essential qualities of a leader, as we see in 2 Samuel 23:3. Anyone who wants to lead well must fear the Lord. When we talk about fearing God, we are not talking about a wrong kind of fear. We are talking about the reverential fear that causes us to bow in His presence and even to prostrate ourselves before Him and say, “My God, there is none like You; Whom shall I fear? If You are for me, what can man do to me?’
The apostle Paul wrote something in Galatians 1:10, He said, “Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah).”
We know Satan firsthand uses rejection to prevent us from going forward with the call of God on our our lives. Have you ever been attacked with rejection? The devil uses this very effective tool to keep us from making progress.
How many of you have gone to the bank to get a loan for your business and were turned down? Wanted more money to expand? Wanted to hire a few more people? How many people were skeptical when you told them you were starting a business, or joining a partnership with someone, or told you all of the reasons why they failed in business and why you would too? It’s very difficult to go on when you are being rejected by someone you love and care about or others who have the power and ability to help but do not buy into your vision. I know what that feels like when you take the leap of faith and do what you believe you have been called to do. I shudder to think what I might have sacrificed had I bowed down to the pressure and the weight of rejection. Everywhere I went for help they told me no, or I didn’t qualify, but thank God I didn’t give up.
Have you ever been in a situation when the devil leveled an attack against you at the same time when God was trying to promote you into the next level of what he has for your life?
Anyone who is going to do the will of God must have more fear of God than of man. We all want acceptance and for others to support our dreams. It takes courage to live your dreams. And you have to be willing to lose everything to do it. What does that mean? The trials and storms of life will come. They must. Do you stay and fight for the dream and the desire that you believe God has placed on the inside of you, or do you turn in defeat because it’s just too hard?
Anyone who is going to do God’s will must remember what Jesus told His disciples: “A servant is not greater than his master…If they persecuted Me, they will also persecut you” (John 15:20). He was saying, “If they reject you, in effect they are rejecting Me.” I believe the Lord takes it personally when people reject you because you are trying to do the right thing. He knows how you feel about being rejected, because He felt the same thing. He is your Vindicator; your reward comes from Him, and you must reverentially fear and honor Him more than anything or anyone else.
As you have made the decision, for God I live, and for God I die, know that God is equally commited to the promise as well. Romans 8:31,32 “What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] [Ps. 118:6]
32 He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
God approved of you before anybody else ever got a chance to disapprove. Do not spend your time playing it safe in the illusion of a down economy (because millionaries are being made everyday, banks are still giving corporate execs million dollar bonuses) don’t buy into the hype! Safety is very comfortable, but it may keep you from God’s perfect plan for your life. If we want to continue to succeed in this environment, our focus must be customer focus coupled with outstanding customer service. Not because it will keep your customer and repeat business, but if you never see them again, the honor and privilege is in being in a position to serve.
Trust His Word and keep your heart willing and ready to obey. Be willing to try new things, especially if it is something you have never done before. You will find throughout your life that God regularly calls us out of our comfort zones and into new places of faith and growth in Him.
On the way to your destination, enjoy the journey.