May 20, 2014

His blessings or Himself?

"...for they loved not their lives even unto death." Revelation 12:11

Sometimes I am afraid that many of us are walking on the broad road that leads to death thinking we are on the narrow road that leads to life.

The Enemy, dressed up in his cheer leading garb, shouts through his bullhorn, "You're awesome! God loves you! Don't drink alcohol, don't smoke, stay away from sinners and home school your children...That's right! Keep it up! You're doing great! God is pleased with your lifestyle!"

We get excited about our own good works, the "holiness" of our lives, and we become oblivious to the gentle downward slope of the path we are on, especially because so many people are on the same path with us.

Along the way, we come across such wonderful blessings to love: a thriving ministry, a nice house with a view. For some, it is children, or good health, particularly now that we are gluten-free! For others, it is the organic farm and the grass fed chickens, or a spouse, or useful knowledge.

How we love our lives and all our blessings! We go to church every Sunday and we read our Bible.

All the while we are cheered on by the Enemy of our souls to continue our happy lives enjoying the blessings from God.

What's wrong with this? For many of us, something is missing...the most important Something.

The reality is we walk after the flesh, satisfying all our desires with worldly things, they are good and moral things, but still temporary, fleeting. When our pleasures are gone, or trials come, we lose our joy.

We are like the thousands in the crowd who were healed by Jesus. Remember how He healed all of their diseases? The same crowd heard The Truth as Jesus preached from the mountainside. And this same crowd ate until they were full the loaves and the fishes. These people, like us, enjoyed the blessings of God, yet they did not know Jesus personally.

Later, it was the crowd who was so easily persuaded to CRUCIFY Jesus. (Matthew 27:20)

Will that be us, one day?

Or will we say, "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ?"

Can we say, "When Christ, who is my life...?" or "For me, to live is Christ?" (Col 3:4, Phil 1:21)

I love blessings as much as the next girl...maybe more. But I would rather have Jesus than anything.

"And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
Mark 8:34-36




7 comments:

  1. "you — with us — should examine your foundation to be sure that it is the Lord Himself Who is your life and Everything, and not Christianity in any one or more of its mere externals." ~ T.A. Sparks

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  2. I was thinking of this thing just this morning before I read your blog. Satan is a cunning deceiver. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments" John 14:15. So many denominations are what I call, "Feel-good" churches. Anything goes. But, the church parking lots are full and over flowing every Sunday morning. We must be sure of our salvation.

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    1. Yes, Sharon, there are a lot of voices out there that tickle our ears and tell us what feels good. Obedience to the Father is demonstration of our love for Him. But for some, "obedience" is what people are counting on for their salvation. Then, in times of trouble they doubt that God loves them because they don't know God...they don't know His lovingkindness. When the good moral things in their life go wrong they are faced with their failed idols and dashed hopes.
      Even in the fire, the joy of the Lord, even God Himself, is our strength and delight. I wish that everyone could know this and EXPERIENCE it!

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  3. Oh, true Laura! Many are on a path, and seeming so good and moral and even loving....until TSHTF....and then? Blame God? Blame ourselves for our lack of faith, endurance, etc? Or accept that what the Bible says is true? The Bible says we will suffer as He has suffered (although I do not think we will ever know the full extent of what Jesus suffered for us), and that if He isn't chastening us we are not His children but we are (the Bible says b-a-s-t-a-r-d-s, not sure if it even passes censors, but that is what the Bible says) illegitimate, and John the Baptist called the Pharisees "sons of the serpent", and they were very religious. We can have religion OR we can have Jesus. They are not synonymous.

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    1. Because of Jesus we become children of God, no longer illegitimate, able to call God Abba Father!

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  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Alicia. Hope you have a good day!

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Thank you for your kind comments. I love visiting with you and I hope you come again.