Daily Commitment is Important

dusty_bibleIt’s November! For most people it means getting out the Christmas decorations, planning road trips, and stuffing turkeys. For me it means I have to write. A LOT!

November is the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. It’s a crazy challenge to write a 50,000 word (or longer) novel in 30 days. Crazy, I know.

Last year when I reflected back on the challenge and how I beat it I realized that one of the most important things was to just commit to write daily. Each and every day I did something to work on my novel. Some days I only wrote 100 words, some days I wrote 10,000 words. Most days were in between.

Focusing on the project daily is extremely important to completing this challenge because taking a break, even for a single day, makes it really easy to turn that into a two day break. Then three days.

And before you know it months have gone by without writing. Getting into this daily habit also made the writing itself easier.

This year is no different than last. It’s the daily commitment that gets me through the challenge. Writer’s block, being tired, all of those excuses get put aside because I have to get my word count in! I don’t have time for excuses.

In the past couple of weeks since I started preparing for this crazy writing challenge I started to let things slip. I haven’t had time to get any articles out on ETM, for one. But also, I quit reading my Bible consistently.

When taking on a huge challenge, whether it’s writing a novel, organizing an event, practicing for an upcoming competition, or just daily life with a full schedule, setting aside the Bible gets way too easy. We fall into the trap of thinking the Bible is just another motivational book, so it seems easy to let it fade into the background of life.

But reading the Bible is a big deal. It’s the weapon we use in this battle taking place between our spirit and our flesh.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105 ESV

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. – Romans 15:4 ESV

One of my favorite quotes is from Ravi Zacharias says:

The biggest battle you will face in life is your daily appointment with God. Keep it or every other battle will get bigger.

Keeping ourselves focused on God and drawing close to him is a daily battle against our sinful nature. The more we read the Bible the closer we draw to God and the easier it is to walk by the spirit and not the flesh.

I once read a book on fasting suggesting that weekly, or at least regular, fasting was important because it helped prepare the heart to hear from God. It wasn’t the act itself, because it isn’t the food we eat that gets in the way of listening to God. But the sacrifice of giving up food, something your body craves, to make God a priority, to focus that time on Him; that is what makes the difference.

In the same way, sacrificing some time out of your busy day to focus on God does something to us. It isn’t simply the act of reading something, but it’s making a concerted effort to make God an important part of our day, and it helps prepare our heart to follow the Spirit instead of the flesh.

Thankfully I have a godly wife that was there to help remind me of the importance of not sacrificing that time I should be spending with God. Walking in the flesh because we haven’t fed ourselves spiritually opens us up to a lot of temptation, hurt, and sin. It isn’t worth it. Especially for a husband who is trying to lead a house spiritually. It doesn’t take long for the enemy to come in and strike when we set down our weapon. A single decision made when we are following the flesh can have devastating consequences for a family.

We are in a spiritual battle, and a single day of not being prepared can be lethal.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  – Galatians 5:16-17 ESV

I urge you, take a few minutes each day to read the Bible. It’s important. Very important. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Just reading one chapter, or even finding a single verse to meditate on throughout the day. Anything to feed your spirit and help you to win those battles against the flesh.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 ESV

Would we do more, if following Jesus wasn’t so easy?

The Jordan River
The Jordan River (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning while reading the Bible I came across the story of Naaman, a commander of an army who also had leprosy.  He does what any of us would probably do when facing such a severe disease, he turned to God.

 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”

But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.

But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’”  So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child’s, and he was healed!

— 2 Kings 5:10-14 (NLT)

I see this passage and am struck with the question, do I do the same thing?

He is struck with a disease and approaches God for healing, and the prophet gives him a simple answer. Go wash in the Jordan River.  His response is “No way!”  I can see at least three reasons in this passage as to why he said “no” at first.  And then I have to wonder if any of them are the reason I use to avoid doing what I am told to do.

Pride

“I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” 2 Kings 5:11

Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” – 2 Kings 5:12

Pride is something that is really difficult to deal with, but is the cause for so much of our disobedience to God.  And it is something that affects everyone.

For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, . . . pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” — Mark 7:21-23 NLT

Naaman wanted to receive the royal treatment, after all he was a commander of an entire army.  Yet when the prophet simply sends him a message with instructions, Naaman is greatly offended.  Instead of taking to heart what he was told to do, he lets his ego get the better of him and he walked away bitter.
I know too many people that have walked away from God, bitter towards Him, simply because God acted in some way that we didn’t want and we refuse to be humble.
Naaman then used the excuse that there are better rivers than the Jordan, so why not just use them?  Have you ever been called to do something in an area that you did not like?  Who wants to minister in the slums when you can minister to Hollywood stars and football players, right?
We have to be careful to not let our pride get in the way of our mission.  Pride in ourselves or in what area of the world we minister in.  If God calls us to pass out tracks in the slums of our city, then passing out tracks in the better areas of town is not a compromise, it’s just plain disobedience.
Naaman was not going to be healed by the water in the Jordan itself, but by obedience and humility.

Expectations

“I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! -2 Kings 5:11 NLT

I cannot count the number of times that I was disappointed because God did not act in the way that I, a mere human, wanted Him, the God of the universe, to act.  How silly is that?

We expect that when we pray for healing that God will instantly heal everything about us, or that if we pray for financial help that God will have someone send us enough money for everything we “need” to take care of.

But in reality God works in many different ways, sometimes subtle, but almost always in ways we never expected.

This week I have been praying for God to help us out financially.  Later I went to the store, and I saw a few movies that I really wanted.  Normally I would just get one and go on with my day.  I tried.  I stood in the movie section for ten minutes trying to decide which movie to get when it occurred to me, I didn’t really feel like buying a movie.  I wanted the movie, but the desire to actually spend money on it was gone.  In that way God helped me financially, not by giving me money like I wanted, but by helping me not be so stupid with the money He had already provided through my paycheck.

Don’t refuse to follow God or do what He commands you to do simply because it isn’t the way you wanted Him to help.

It’s too Easy

Project365-Day4
Project365-Day4 (Photo credit: JonZenor)

“Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” – 2 Kings 5:13

This one I have seen happen to people before.  They want to follow God in some really big important way, and until they are called to do something really big and important, they do nothing.

To accept the challenge to climb a mountain or donate a large sum of money to a cause makes us feel like we are actually doing something for God.  Why?  Because not everybody can do this.

We want to help others and serve God in some way that is unique and special, not just like everyone else can do.  Anybody could give a homeless person a few dollars, but we want to be the one to help get that homeless person back on their feet and into the life they used to have.

We want to be the one that flew to another country, went on a tour of Israel, and climbed a mountain to be closer with God.  It sounds impressive; very impressive.  Because it is not something that most people will ever do.  It shows that we have more dedication and commitment to God, that you are willing to sacrifice a lot for God.

But will you sacrifice the little things, every single day, for God?

Right now I’m using this excuse to avoid tithing.  Due to my current financial situation, I cannot give $100 a week in tithes and other charities like I used to do. So I haven’t been giving anything.  I could give $10, but that isn’t as impressive as what I used to do, it’s too easy.  So I do nothing.  Sacrificing ten dollars doesn’t show much dedication and sacrifice compared to one hundred.

Easy does not mean unimportant

Another reason why I think people do not do the easy things that God calls us to  do is because we feel like if it isn’t difficult then it isn’t important.  I can say that this is not true.

Giving a few dollars to a homeless man is important to him.  Reading your Bible every day may seem unimportant because of how easy it is, but it can have the single largest impact on your life.  Giving only $10 to Gospel for Asia is important for those people who are given a Bible or clean water because of that small donation.

Serving God is easy.  Follow Him, read the Bible, and follow what God tells you to.  It’s so easy that we think it is not important.  But it is important.  It is the most important thing we can do in our entire life.

Do you use any of these excuses to avoid following God?  What are you planning on doing about that?

New Year goals, what is it that really matters?

Written by Jon Zenor

As we draw near to the end of 2011 a new year dawns before us.  Many people see the new year as a new chance to get things straight in their life.

As I sit down to write out what my goals will be for this next year I can’t help but think of a quote I heard a few months ago.

I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter. (William Carey – Missionary to India, 1761-1834)

Are you afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter?  You should, or at least I have been.  Every single thing we do we will be held accountable for, and for every single thing we don’t do.  Our culture has made it a point to make the body of Christ ineffective and lame.

I’ve heard a million words, sermons, and read books: (and) I’m accountable to God for everything I have. Every moment of my time, every dime of my money. (Leonard Ravenhill)

Entertainment

I just started watching some new TV shows on Netflix that I want to finish and I started playing a new game, Star Wars: The Old Republic (an MMO which promises to require a lot of my time).

All of this time I spend on entertainment makes me wonder, am I trying to succeed at things that do not matter?  If I get a max level character in Star Wars and beat all the bosses, and if I finish all the TV shows I am currently watching then months of my year are gone.

Star Trek the Next Generation is one show I want to finish, all 178 episodes. At 45 minutes per episode (yay for Netflix being commercial free!) that is 8010 minutes of my year, or 133 hours, which is about 5 and a half days.  5 and a half days of my year gone, just with one tv show, and there are many other shows I want to watch, and games to play.  Another 5 days for Star Trek Voyager, half a day with Firefly, and before you know it just in watching 3 tv shows I have used up nearly 2 full weeks of the 52 weeks I get to live this year. Sleeping for 7 hours per night is 15 weeks, and working approximately 250 days this year is another 12 weeks.

Just between work, sleep, and a couple of tv shows I only have 23 weeks worth of time left…

Our church, the army of the Lord, is found laying down sleeping on the job because we spend most of our time sitting in our comfortable couches watching sports and tv shows and playing computer games.  The world is out there perishing, needing people to help them and bring the gospel message, while we sit around not caring.

This goes back to the quote… am I trying to succeed at things that do not matter?  I am applying this to entertainment but it applies to everything we do, our jobs, relationships that may be dragging us down, time wasted on the internet, games played out with friends while our family is at home without us… the list goes on.

I once confronted someone about entertainment and got the response “but we all need entertainment.” Do we?  Do we really need entertainment?  I suppose if our only alternative is to sit around with nothing to do, then yeah, we need entertainment.

But consider this quote from one of my favorite preachers, Leonard Ravenhill.  He said “The devil’s substitution for joy is entertainment.” Think about that quote for a moment.

If we were busy doing something for Christ, for the lost, we would no doubt feel the joy of Christ in our life.  At that point, I believe, we wouldn’t miss those TV shows or sports.  We wouldn’t care because we would know that we are serving the kingdom.

I am not saying we need to be working twenty four seven and never do anything to relax, what I am saying is that the more time we choose to spend in entertainment the less time we spend doing something godly and holy; something productive.

Christians, we have a savior who gave up everything to become a man, why? So he could be entertained or provide us entertainment?  No, so he could serve and save us.

Do something that matters

I want to challenge each of you.  If you are a Christian, I challenge you to make it a goal this year to put God first, to sacrifice your entertainment time to read the Bible, pray, read a book about becoming a disciple (check out our book reviews for some great suggestions!), or have family time by watching something that is wholesome and edifying instead of the garbage we let in the house from mainstream cable.  Realize that the only thing worth living for, the only thing worth attempting to succeed at are things that are going to last for eternity.

I’m sick to death of the so-called Christianity of our day. What’s supernatural about it? When do people come out of the sanctuary awed and can’t speak for an hour because God has been in glory there? Dear God, as soon as they get out, they’re talking football, or sports or something or there’s going to be a big sale downtown or somewhere. We are not caught up into eternity! (Leonard Ravenhill)

Do you realize your neighbors are speeding down the road to hell while you sit there watching your football games?  While I am sitting on my computer leveling up my Jedi Knight in Star Wars, my neighbor is struggling with sin and needing someone to share the love of Christ with them, someone to take the time to pray for them.

Brothers and sisters, what are we doing on this earth if we are not living for the kingdom?

Call up local churches or the police department and ask what kinds of needs are in your community that you can pray for and help out with.  Find the nearest homeless shelter and go help them out.  Do you knit? Knit them some scarves to help keep the homeless warm.  Just go do something; which may mean you have to turn off that TV.

If you are not a Christian, I plead for you to realize that your sin is greatly offending a mighty and holy God.  The one who created you and gave you life, love, the power to think, he is hurt by every “little” sin we do. It is time for you to get right before God, repent and turn from your sin and follow God!  The journey isn’t easy or comfortable, but it is awesome!

Let twenty twelve not go down in the history of your life as just another year that flew by faster than before with nothing significant to show for it.

Everything else is meaningless

When you face God on judgement day, how many characters you got to max out in a video game is not going to matter, how many football games you watched and cheered for will not matter, what tv shows you watched will not matter.  What will matter, is what you did with the resources God gave to you, your time and money.

The writer of Ecclesiastes ends his book by saying “Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless. … Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” ( Ecclesiastes 12:8, 13 NLT)

Living Rich, is it a sin to have money?

We have mentioned in many posts recently what God says about the rich. Mainly that it is impossible for the rich to get into heaven, and yet every one of us in the United States and the western world in general are rich. Considering the fact that most of the world lives on less than $2 a day we can get a sense of just how rich we truly are.

I know that many of those articles can be very convicting and give the impression that we are need to give all possessions away and live like the poorest so we can give away everything. I know the thoughts that can go through your mind when reading these articles because this is a struggle I have had for the past several months. I don’t write these articles with an attitude of “I got it all together, now do what I do!” On the contrary, I write these articles because it is what God puts on my heart, and He puts them on my heart ninety-nine percent of the time because it is the lesson I need to be taught.

The past several months I have been in conviction over my money, am I making too much, am I using it wisely, do I give it all away, what about retirement? I have had nights where I get home from work in the morning and weep and seek God in prayer because I am just so lost on what to do. I don’t want God to say it is impossible for me to get into heaven because I am obsessed with riches, or because I saved one million in the bank instead of giving it away. (ha, like that would ever happen :P)

So after months of seeking God in this, I finally have a hint of where to go. I wish I had the full answer, but until God reveals it to me you will be in the dark with me. 🙂

Is it wrong to make money?

Being wealthy is not a sin. Many heroes of the Bible were wealthy, Abraham for one, and even Zaccheius was wealthy and likely some of the disciples had at least a decent amount of money such as Mark (tax collectors generally did well then) and Luke, a physician had the ear of the “most excellent Theophilus” (Luke 1:3) which meant he probably had a position of power, which means wealth.

The difference, between any follower of God in the Bible and the rich man Jesus rejects in Luke 18, is that a follower of Jesus doesn’t care about the wealth. If you are following Jesus, your goal should never be about money, making more or saving more or even giving more, focus on Jesus. When He is your focus you realize that your wealth is really nothing more than a resource God has given to you to manage properly and serve Him.

Is it wrong to save money?

Saving money is not a sin as long as you are following God with your money. Zacchaeus (Luke 19) gave away 50% of everything he owned, because he wanted to use his resources to serve God, not to just save for himself. But why not give away 100%? He gave away what he was convicted to give away, following God’s prompt on his conscience. It no longer was about saving or having money to him, just about following God, even if it meant giving away his wealth. He didn’t care because he was following God, that is what matters. He is just one of many examples of how when we focus on Jesus, we care less about ourselves and our achievements and start to adopt the heart of God for the lost.

Here is another thing to look at. There is a joke of a guy who was trapped in a house during a flood. A guy on a canoe came by, asking if he needed help while the guy tried to climb to the highest point on the roof. The guy responded “No thank you, I have faith God will save me”. Then as the water continued to rise a helicopter came by to save the guy, who just replied “I have faith God will save me.”

Well, the guy ends up drowning. He gets to heaven and asks God, “why didn’t you save me?” To which God replies “I gave you warning a flood was coming and even after you ignored it I sent a canoe and a helicopter, what else could you need?”

Bad joke, I know, but it shows a lesson which is true. We can’t throw away God’s blessings and then expect him to miraculously save you last minute. He might, because He is sovereign and loves us despite us being bad stewards of His money. God has given us in America the money to get out of most situations. We just choose to blow it on ourselves and buy things we can’t afford and then cry out to God when we are out of money. Yes God provides for us, but does that really sound right to waste his provision and then blame him for “not providing” when times are tough?

Is that how we are supposed to manage God’s resources?

Is debt wrong?

The Bible does give some allowance for debt, but I do not recall ever seeing the Bible promote or say it is a good thing. I personally think debt is a sin, for two reasons.

First, debt is almost always caused by our wanting what we cannot afford. You want that new car? Save up for it! Or find a cheaper alternative.

God has given us tremendous resources, there should be no reason we can’t save up for something whille still having money to give to those in need and supporting our family. It may take sacrifice, but at least you will be buying what you afford and not borrowing.

The second reason I see debt as sin, is something God has recently shown me. I am absolutely tired of not being able to help people like I once was able to, why? Because of my debt. My debt is draining so much of my money that I live paycheck to paycheck and have a really hard time paying for food, let alone helping others.

If I did not have my debt it would free up my resources to be able to help others. Lost your job? Sure, here is $350 to help you get back on your feet, oh wait, that money has to go to my car payment, sorry. There is so much more we could do without debt.

Stay Tuned

In my next article I will discuss about worrying over money and what God has told me about each of these areas in my own personal finances.

What do you think? Is it a sin to make money or save money? How do you ensure that you are using God’s money wisely and not just blowing it on yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

Easter: Getting back to the basics

Today will no doubt be a busy day for most people.  You have clothes to get ready, get to church on time, find the eggs with the kids, easter baskets to pick through for favorite candies, and a big family easter dinner to prepare.  To many people it seems that they spend all day celebrating easter, and little time celebrating Jesus.

Besides the hour and a half spent singing praise songs and listening to a sermon at church, very litte thought is given towards God today with all of the business distracting us.  Like many western traditional celebrations easter becomes less a celebration of the resurection of the cross and more of a celebration of the celebration itself.

Today is the day that we remember the most unfair sacrifice in all of history. Today we remember Jesus, the creator of all things (John 1:3), being perfect and without any sin (Hebrews 4:15), but was raised from the dead, conquering death, so we could be called righteous before God! (Romans 5:19)  Do you get the impact of that statement?

You have sinned, a lot. Do not try denying it, you are a filthy sinner. Every lie, every lustful thought, every greedy or selfish action you take, all of it, is detestable in the sight of God. Don’t believe me? Just look at the old testament, at how God wanted those who sined to be punished. It gives a glimpse of how much God hates sin.  Yet God, the one you sin against every day, sacrificed Himself, for what? To erase every evidence of sin in our life. To declare us righteous and allow us to serve Him, the living God!

“Are we sorry for grieving the heart of God… for denying God the right to own our personality… to own our mind… to own our thoughts… to own our emotions? (If not) we’re robbing God.” – Leonard Ravenhill

Instead of making today about easter bunnies and new clothes and business of making big dinners, spend today focusing on your sin, repenting from your sin, and thanking God for the wonderful act of Grace that He has provided freely for you. Take some time to celebrate that, what easter is supposed to be all about.

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. – Romans 5:7-9

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation … – Hebrews 2:1-3

Isaiah 53

 1 Who has believed our message
   and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
   and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
   a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

 4 Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
   and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
   Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
   for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
   and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
   nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
   and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
   and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
   he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
   and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, 
   and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
   and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
   and made intercession for the transgressors.

Avoiding a Lukewarm Life part 1 – Sacrificing it all

Laodicea, a city in Asia which is known for having a lukewarm church because of a letter written to them in Revelation 3.  I wonder if America will go down in history known for being the modern day luekwarm church?

Revelation 3:15-16 says “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

God wants you to be hot, to be on fire for him, if not you are so distasteful to him that he wants to vomit you out of his mouth!  Why would God have such a severe reaction lukewarmness?  Because God is so holy, and so worthy of every bit of worship and praise we can give him, and when we take our eyes off of Jesus just to focus on the things of the world, it is disgusting to God.

Jesus, a treasure worth sacrificing for

Jesus told a parable of a man who found a treasure in a field, and was so excited to get the treasure that he went and sold everything he had so he could buy the field and get the treasure.  (Matthew 13:44)  This, Jesus says, is how we need to seek the kingdom of God.  We need to seek Him so fervantly that we are willing to sacrifice anything to get Him because we know He is worth it.

Imagine you being this person, following a map that is promised to lead to riches.  You get to a clearing in the trees and you see an obscure X on the ground. So you dig, and you find a stock pile of bars of gold worth billions of dollars.  And then you burry the bars of gold, and you go off to live your life. You could buy that plot of land and take ownership over the treasure, but to do that you would have to sell your car, your tv, or even your house.

If any one of us saw a person give up this treasure we would try to knock some common sense into them, say “come on, that treasure is worth so much more than all of your measly possessions combined!”  But this is us!  We are satisfied with knowing Jesus exists and maybe even going to look at the treasure every Sunday, but we refuse to take any action that could give us possesion of this treasure.

A rich man once came go Jesus and asked “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” and Jesus responded “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Luke 18:18-23) What did the guy do? “But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”  This guy let his earthly possessions stop him from having eternal life, from having a relationship with Jesus.  And this is disgusting to God! 

But we do the same thing…

Your head fights that idea instantly by saying “but I’m not rich, I live pay check to pay check and sometimes can’t pay my utility bill.”  Don’t be blind to what you do have.  Most of the world lives off of $2 per day.  Your brain is smart and fires back “but the cost of living is so much more here, it is impossible to live off of $2 per day.”  Well yes, it is true that two dollars will get you more in other countries than in the U. S. but think about this.  If you have a roof over your head, a form of transportation (even a public bus), and food on your table every day, you are richer than 80% of the world.  If you make just $50,000 a year you are in the top 99% of the richest people in the world.  We have so many posessions we cannot even name them all, and we think we are poor?  It was after this that Jesus said it is impossible for a rich man to get into heaven.  Billions of people live in slums and have to live off a diet of rice to survive and we consider ourselves “poor” because we can’t afford to go out for a steak dinner this weekend.

Are your riches getting in the way of you coming to God?  Would you be willing to sell everything you have to follow Jesus?  Instantly your mind races for a reason to hold on to what you have.  You think “God has not asked me to give away my posessions” or “God wants me to enjoy this life and has given me my money to enjoy, not to live in poverty so I can give it all away.”  My question to you is, have you ever asked Him what He wants from you?

But that is legalistic!

The common defense for the church in America when they are told to do something hard.  Throw down the Legalism card as a “get out of conviction free” card.  But is what I am saying  legalistic, or is it Biblical?  Reading the passages above it seems pretty clear that we are to sell everything we have and give to the poor, to get rid of everything that could be standing in the way of you being on fire for God.

There are many places in the Bible where Jesus gives very hard commands that show us that being a Christian involves more than going to church, singing a few songs and hanging around Christians when you play games or spend time on the computer.  “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:26

And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:27

In Luke 14 Jesus commands people to consider the cost to following Him before you begin, becasue it is costly.  Does not a builder consider if he can afford to build a tower before he starts? Does a king not consider if he is able to defeat an army before he goes to war?  “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14:33)

As Christians we are the salt of the earth, but if we are lukewarm then we lose our flavor and Jesus says that salt that has lost its flavor is not even fit to be thrown in the manuer pile. (Luke 14:34)

Revelation 3:17 God says “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Wretched, miserable, are these words you want God to use when describing you?

Do you get it yet?

Do you understand?  God does not want people sitting around being holy couch potatoes.  God wants people that are so devoted to serving him they are willing to sacrifice everything, money, power, family, even their own life.  These are the people God wants to follow Him!

Notice who had joy and who did not in Jesus’ parables.  The man that sacrificed everything to buy the field with the treasure “in his joy went and sold all he had” while the rich man “became very sorrowful.”  Who has more joy, the one holding on to the things of earth or the one reaching for the treasure?

So I must give away everything?

I’m not saying you have to give away everything, but why not?  What is keeping you from doing it?  Is it because it is an idol?  I know my money has been an idol to me many, many times and I still struggle with this, but I know in the end it is worth whatever sacrifice I give, and more.

What I am trying to say, is that you need to seek God, but not in a casual way, in a way where you are willing to sacrifice everything for Him!  I guarantee the instant you enter into eternity you will wish you had sacrificed more!

So what makes God so great to deserve this kind of all-in sacrifice?  I will answer that in part 2.

Leave a comment below telling us how God has asked you to sacrifice to serve Him!

The Humanity of Christ

It is well known that Jesus came in the form of man, and He experienced life on earth, going through all of the problems we go through, all of the hurt we go through, and experienced pain, suffering, and loss just like the rest of us.  We all know this, but in the back of our minds is a thought that since Jesus is God made flesh, He really did not, or could not have gone through as much pain and suffering as we go through.

Great Loss

When thinking of how Jesus went through loss of personal relationships, two people come to mind.  First is Joseph, his father.  We do not know for sure what happened to Joseph, but we do know that Joseph was there when Jesus was twelve in the temple (Luke 2:28), then we never see him again in scripture. When Jesus was dying on the cross he tells John to take care of his mom, something Jesus would not have to do if his father was still alive (John 19:26-27).  This also shows that Jesus cared about his mom, he wanted her to be well taken care of, something any of us would want.

Another powerful passage in the Bible is when Jesus’ close friend, Lazarus, died.  Jesus got word that Lazarus was not feeling well and then after he died Jesus made his way to visit.  Seeing the women weeping over Lazarus and then seeing the grave himself was too much for Jesus, and “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).  This simple verse showing that Jesus had compassion, felt pain, even though he knew Lazarus would not be dead for much longer, it was still painful to him.

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Great Suffering

I think it is downright impossible for us to understand the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross.  All to often I hear others, or even think in the back of my own mind, that what Jesus went through was bad but at least he knew the end result so it was not that bad.  How wrong can we get? Not only did Jesus get tortured and executed, but his status with God was, for the first time in all existance, severed from the Father (Mark 15:34).  Can you imagine what this would have been like? Do you think Jesus was anxious at all, or wished that he could avoid what was ahead?

Jesus did not want to go through with what was ahead and prayed for God to remove this trial from his only begotten son (John 22:42).  Jesus, “being in agony, prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (John 22:44)

Yes, Jesus was human, he had compassion, felt the pain of loss felt great anxiety. Jesus went through the pain that we went through, even more so.

So why did He do it?  Jesus prayed “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (John 22:42).  Do you not think that the loving father would take such trials from His only begotten son? But he did not, why?  Because it was the only way.

Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

“He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever.” (Hebrews 10:12)  Jesus died, do you really understand that? Jesus, our creator, was beaten, tortured, betrayed, and executed for you!

Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

2 Corinthians 7:10
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

John Piper, in Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ writes

Therefore, this man of indestructible joy was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38). This “great high priest” is not unable to sympathize with us in our weakness, becasue he was tested in every way as a man like us (Hebrews 4:14-15). He wept with those who wept (John 11:35) and rejoiced with those who rejoiced (Luke 10:27, 21). He was hungry (Matthew 4:2), he was weary (John 4:6), he was forsaken (Matthew 26:56), betrayed (Matthew 26:45), whipped (Matthew 27:26), mocked (Matthew 27:31), and crucified (Matthew 27:35).

Jesus can and did relate to us, he felt pain suffering and loss.  Why did he go through all of this pain and suffering?  Because only through Jesus can we be reconciled with God.  Jesus went through all of that, only for you, what do you do for him?

We Make it Our Aim…to be Well Pleasing to Him

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.2 Corinthians 5:9-11

We all know that God has called us to be disciples of Christ, and to make disciples of all nations, but how many of us really practice that?

A lot of Chrisitans don’t believe that evangelism is important, or, if they do believe, they think that it is best left up to the “professionals”. Despite what we may believe, what does the Bible say about this?

for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.Luke 19:10

to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.Ephesians 1:6

God the Son came all the way from heaven to seek the lost and to die for them. The Holy Spirit has bene in this wicked world for nearly twenty centuries, helping the church seek and win the lost. If reaching lost sinners is so important to God, it ought to be important to us. (1)

While we are not all called to be mass evangelists, like Billy Gram or Greg Laurie, we are all given the responsability to reach out to those that God brings into our lives. Jesus suffered and died so that we may be set free, why is it that, after being forgiven, we can not even bring ourselves to tell the lost about Jesus’ sacrifice for them? Jesus bled and died for those that are lost, and we don’t seem to care about the lost or about Jesus enough to share His love with them.

We all think that it is someone elses job, well what would have happened if the disciples thought it was someone elses job to star the church? The church would have never been started. Now the task has fallen to our generation, and we push it off and try to avoid it.

If we want to please God, then we need to do the work that He has set out for us, the work that Jesus came for and left for us to continue. If we know what judgment will be on people who die without Christ, then we must try with every fiber of our being to persuade them to surrender to Jesus Christ.

We don’t need to wait for a huge evangelical rally to witness to someone; it only takes one person to witness to one other person to make a huge impact for Christ and turn that person’s life around. Do a Google video search for “The Man from George Street”. It is a short 5 minute video, but it has a powerful message of what just one man can do when he sets himself to do the Lord’s work, even when he sees nothing in it for himself.

It’s time that the Body of Christ pick up their Bibles and starts to do the work of Christ. Jesus didn’t come and die so we could all be Spiritual Couch Potatoes. Jesus paid much too high a price for that.

Refrences
(1) “On Being a Servant of God“, Warren W. Wiersbe, page 110

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Spurgeon Gold

I am reading a book right now written by Ray Comfort called “Spurgeon Gold“. The book makes quotes and comments about many of the great sermons that Charles Spurgeon gave. If you like the sayings in this post, PLEASE pick up the book. There are so many things being left out of this post that are absolutely invaluable pieces of wisdom.

Charles Spurgeon says about his ministry “My main business is the saving of souls. This one thing I do.” Ray Comfort states “I hope this publication advances Spurgeon’s main business; that its words will not just delight your taste buds. May they energize you to reach out to the lost. God forbid that they should add fat to the theological obesity of many…Time will take you and me into eternity. If we are trusting in Jesus Christ, we have a moral obligation to reach out to the unsaved while there is still time. This was Spurgeon’s great passion, and I pray that it is yours. This gold is not meant to sit on the shelf of a rich man. If it does, then it becomes worthless. Its real value will be seen in its being spent on the cause of the Kingdom.”

So sit back and enjoy some of these pure pieces of spiritual gold that will hopefully encourage you to have a heart for those around us that are lost and for serving our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.


To try to win a soul to Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit; and to endeavor to save men by mere claptrap, or excitement, or oratorical display, is as foolish as to hope to hold an angel with bird-line, or to lure a star with music. The best attraction is the gopsel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency; an arrow can peirce the hardest heart, a balm which will heal the deadliest would. Preach it, and preach nothing else. Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the great fishes, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. Spread those nets and no others, and you need not fear the fullfillment of His Word, “I will make you fishers of men.”


The Reason Sinners Live

Read the Ten Commandments, pause at each one, and confess that you have broken it in either thought or word or deed. Remember that by a glance, we may commit adultery; by a thought, we may be guildy of murder; by a desire, we may steal. Sin is any want of conformity to perfect holiness, and that want of conformity is justly chargeable upon every one of us. Yet the Lord does not, under the gospel dispensation, deal with us according to Law. He does not now sit on the throne of judgment, but He looks down upon us from the throne of grace. … Instead of destroying offending man from off the face of the earth, the Lord comes near to us in loving condescension, and pleads with us by His Spirit, saying, “You have sinned, but my Son has died. In Him, I am prepared to deal with you in a way of pure mercy and unmingled grace.”

O sinner, the fact that you are alive proves that God is not dealing with you according to strict justice, but in patienct forbearance; every moment you live is another instance of omnipotent long-suffering. It is the sacrifice of Christ that arrests the axe of justice, which else must execute you.


A Plea to the Lost

Remember, last of all, that the Law, which is so sharp and terrible to men when it only deals with them for their good, will, if you and I die withouth being brought to Christ, be much more terrible to us in eternity, when it deals with us in justice for our punishment. … He will be at once the Lawgiver, the Judge, and the Savior; and you that have despised Him as the Savior will have to appear before Him as your judge. No such judge as He, His justice will be clear and undiluted now that His mercy has been scorned. Oil is soft, but set it on fire, and see how it burns! … If you turn the Lamb of Zion into the Lion of the tribe of Judah, beware, for He will tear you in pieces, and there shall be none to deliver. Rejected love will change its hand. The pierced hand was outstretched with invitations of mercy, but if these be rejected – O sirs, I am telling you solemn truth, and hear it, I pray you, ere I send you away – if from that hand that was pierced you will not take the perfect salvation, which He is prepared to give to all who confess their guilt, you will have to receive from the selfsame hand that blows of that iron rod, which shall break you into pieces as a potter’s vessel. Fly now, and kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way while His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him! Amen.

**Ray Comfort: “It is amazing that we hesitate to talk about the wrath of God, for fear of making sinners feel fearful. The fear they fell this side of the grave will be nothing compared to the fear that they feel when they stand before Almighty God.” **


Hatred of Goodness

For which of his good works, for which of his generous words, for which of his holy deeds will they fasten His hands to the wood, and His feet to the tree? With unreasonable hatred, with senseless curelty, they only answer to the question of Pilate, “Why, what evil has he done?” “Let Him be crucified! Let Him be crucified!” The true reason for their hate, no doubt, lay in the natural hatred of all men to perfect goodness. Man feels that the presence of goodness is a silent witness against his own sin, and therefore he longs to get rid of it. To be too holy in the judgment of men is a great crime, for it rebukes their sin. If the holy man has not the power of words, yet his life is one loud witness-bearing for God against the sins of his creatures.


A plea to the Unsaved

There are some of you standing in these aisles and sitting in these pews, who I feel in my soul will never have another invitation, and if this be rejected today, I feel a solemn motion in my soul-I think it is of the Holy Ghost- that you will never hear another faithful sermon, but you shall go down to Hell impenitent, unsaved, except you trust in Jesus now. I speak not as a man, but I speak as God’s ambassador to your souls, and I command you, in God’s name, trust Jesus, trust now. At your peril, reject the voice that speaks from Heaven, for “he that believeth not shall be damned.” How shall you escape if you neglect so great salvation? When it comes right home to you, when it thrusts itself in your way, oh, if you will neglect it, how can you escape? With tears, I would invite you, and, if I could, would compel you to come in. Why will you not? O souls, if you will be damned, if you make up your mind that no mercy shall ever woo you, and no warnings shall ever move you, then, sirs, what chains of vengeance must you feel that slight these bonds of love. You have deserved the deepest Hell, for you slight the joys above. God save you. He will save you, if you trust in Jesus. God help you to trust Him even now, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.


Finding the Right Church

If you wait for a perfect church, you must wait until you get to Heaven; and even if you could find a perfect assembly on earth, I am sure they would not admit you to their fellowship, for you are not perfect yourself. Find out those people who are nearest to the Scriptures, who hold the truth in doctrine and in ordinance, and are most like the apostolic church, and then cast in your lot with them, and you will be blessed in the deed.


Prayer for the Unsaved

If you really desire that men should be saved, pray for them. It is an empty wish, a mere formality, if you do not turn it into prayer. … Oh, for more prayer! Let us cry to God in secret, and in the family, and in all our assemblies, that God would save the sons of men.


The Necessity of Preaching

Suppose that we do not preach the gospel and warn the wickend man, so that he turns not from his iniquity. What then? Hear this voice: “He shall perish, but his blood will I require at thine hand.” What will my Lord say to me if I am unfaithful to you? “Where is the blood of those people who gathered at Newington Butts? Where is the blood of that crowd that came together to hear you speak, and you did not preach the gopsel to them?” Oh, it where better for me that I had never been born than that I should not preach the gospel! “Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel” of Christ, for men perish where there is not the Word of God!


Genuine Conversion

If we labor for souls, we must not be content unless souls are really saved, for the apostle says, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God.” Well, does not that satisfy you, Paul? They are zealous for God. They are red-hot. “No,” says he, “not unless it is in the right way. They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” We feel very thankful when we see tears stream down the cheek, but you know, people cry at the theatre, and there is not much in it. Pray God it may not end in a shower of tears; but that the heart may bleed as well as the eyes weep. It may happen that we have induced our hearers to give up some outward sins. So far, so good. But it is written, “You must be born again;” and if this vital change is not experienced, all outward reformation will land them short of Heaven.


The Crucifixion

Cowardice! cowardice! cowardice, craven, base lies at your door, O humanity! The Christ who was like a sheep-harmless and defenseless- was treated as if He had been one of the wild beasts of the forest. Who could have had the heart to smite Him who gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to those who plucked off the hair? O humanity! If I stand at the bar to impeach you, I scarce know where to commence the indictment, and, having commenced it, I know not where to close it. How fallen, dishonored, infamous are you, O humanity! Low, depraved, heinous, indeed, have you become that you could put the Messiah Himself to death, and crucify the Lord of Glory.


False Converts

Who was it that added Judas, and Ananias and Sapphire, and Simon Magus, and Demas to the church? Who was it that stole forth by night and spread tares among the wheat? That evil spirit is not dead, he is still busy enough in this department, and continually adds to the church each as are not saved. His are the mixed multitude that infest the camp of Israel, and are the first to fall a lusting; his the Achane who bring a curse upon the tribes; his are those of whom Jude says, “Certain men crept in unawares who were before of old ordained to this condemnation.” These adulterate the church, and by so doing, they weaken and defile it, and bring it much grief and dishonor.


The Purpose of the Law

The business of the Law is first to teach us our obligations to God. Let us ask ourselves if we have ever heard the Law teaching us in that way. Brethren, read the Law of Ten Commandments, and study each separate precept, and you will find that in those ten short precepts you have all the moral virtues, the frull compass of your accountability to God, and of your relationship to your fellowmen. It is a wonderful condensation of morals. The essence of all just decrees and statustes lies there. Perfection is there photographed, and holiness mapped out. No one has ever been able to add to it without creating an excrescence, not a word could be taken from it without causing a serious omission. It is the perfect Law of God, and tells us exactly what we ought to be; if we are in any degree deficient, we are to that extent guilty before God. Now, when the Law comes to a man’s conscience, it reveals to him the divine standard of right -holds it up before him – makes him look at it – and apprises him that the Commandments do not merely refer to acts and deeds, but with equal force to the words and thoughts from whence they proceed.

**Note from Ray Comfort: “It is a Perfect Law (see Psalm 19:7) of a perfect God that demands moral perfection. That is what we are commanded to warn every man, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”


I think that’s enough for now, take these words to heart and pick up this book “Spurgeon Gold” by Ray Comfort.

May God bless you as you seek to save the lost!

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Carrying Your Cross

The Cross of the Disciple

Luke 14:25-26 – Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

What is the meaning of this passage? Are we to hate everybody in our life, not care about them or take care of them and follow God and anything else we hate?

When we compare this to other scriptures we can safely say that this passage is a slight exaggeration. We are not to literally hate everyone, or that would be considered murder.

This passage means that to be a disciple we MUST put Jesus first in our life, to the point where we would sacrifice anything for Him. It is as if nothing else mattered except for Jesus. This is how it should be, He IS the creator of the world and the almighty God, for that reason alone we should always respect Him to the point where nothing else matters. God deserves our respect and worship, He deserves our very lives as a living sacrifice for Him.

We can still have a relationship with others, and as we follow Jesus those relationships will become stronger and we will know more how God wants us to treat those relationships, but before everything else, Jesus must come first in our life!

Luke 14:27 – “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

When Jesus carried His cross, it was a death sentence waiting to be filled. Walking down the road to the place where He would be executed, there was no turning back, no laying down to take a nap. It was a brutal walk, the last walk that He would make before being executed.

As we go through this life being torn down by sin and being attacked on every side by the pressures and distractions of this world, we know that this is our last walk. We should have the same focus that Jesus did. No matter what it cost or how hard it would be, the will of the Father MUST be filled.

Through our life we need to be focused on His will. What does God have in store for you, what is your mission and where does He want you? A lot of people get lazy and just don’t care. Their idea of carrying a cross is to pray before dinner and go to church most Sundays. That type of cross is the cross that you wear around your neck. Very little pressure, or benefit, just the look that says “Look at me, I’m trying to be good”. Is this the type of cross that Jesus had in mind when He said to carry your cross daily?

I think Jesus had something more in mind. The cross that He carried was capable of killing Him, a giant beam across His back with tremendous weight behind it. It is something that we would never be capable of doing alone. That is why Jesus said that His burden is light. But just because it’s light doesn’t mean that Jesus takes the cross from us. I think it means that He works with us to make us strong enough to bear the weight easily.

We are to carry our cross daily, this means that we focus on Jesus and not on the things of this world. While we follow and serve Him He will make it easier for us and give us the strength to handle the fight that the world will give us because of Him.

Luke 14:28-30 – “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'”

In order to follow Jesus we must analyze what it will cost us. We must prepare the resources for it and prepare our minds to deal with the problems that will come as a result. Following Jesus, being His disciple and carrying our cross is not an easy thing. Our bodies are tied to this world and attracted to the lusts of the flesh. In order for you to be best prepared, you must look ahead at what being His disciple may cost you, and be willing to pay the price.

This goes back to the beginning of the passage, are you willing to give up your family and others that you love in order to be His disciple? Can you give up the comforts of this world if He calls you?

Luke 14:31-32 – “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”

The war that we have to fight is a spiritual war, we may not see it but it is very real. Again, we must be prepared for it. We fight the war with or without Jesus on our side, that is just one more thing that we must be prepared for. Imagine the cost. The cost of following Him and the cost of not following Him.

Luke 14:33-35 – “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?

It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Are you willing to give up EVERYTHING that you have to serve Jesus? Everything we have belongs to Him. It is not by our will that we are alive or acquire stuff. If it wasn’t for His goodness we would have nothing. Would you still follow Jesus if what happened to Job happened to you? He lost everything, wife, kids, riches, house, even his health, but STILL he followed God.

Are you willing to follow God when the only thing that you have is an old wooden splintery cross on your back and a long rocky road in front of you? Are you willing to give up everything you own to be called a disciple of Jesus?