At the tail end of his earthly ministry, Jesus prayed for the disciples. While praying, He made this bold statement– I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
I read this, and wondered, right here and right now, can I say the same? I thought, yes. But truth be told, it was a shaky one. I am saved. I believed in my heart and confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It was, and still is the best decision I ever made. I am not eternally damned. That’s major. Yet, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Now that I am saved, what am I doing with my salvation? Who is benefiting from my being saved? Am I in relationship with Him? Am I committed to our relationship? Am I consistent? Does my life reflect Him? Am I bearing fruits? If yes, are they good? What is the purpose of my life if it is not in service to God, if it does not point others to Him? And the chief question, does my life glorify God? I have heard folks say something like, so long as I make it through the doors of heaven I’m good. 𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱? If it were, 𝙬𝙝𝙮 𝙞𝙨𝙣’𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙨𝙖𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙞𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙫𝙚𝙣? This lets me know there is more. For the time we are on this God made earth, we are called to BE more, and DO more. The bare minimum is selfish.
These are hard questions that force introspection. They place you under a microscope for self-examination, bringing the thoughts, words, deeds, and intentions that shape your existence to the forefront; all freakishly enlarged for observation. The time spent lost in thought led me to this conclusion; there is no promising alternative to 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝘆 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁 |Matthew 25:23|. I live to hear those words.
You know that famed question, what are you most afraid of? My answers were always superficial. The umbrella reply being I am afraid of failure. Truth? It was the easiest response to give. I could hide in the pool of 90% of the world’s population equally terrified of failure. When given a shovel to dig deeper, I learned that it was less about failure and more about abandonment. I was deathly afraid of abandonment. Call it daddy issues. In Christ however, all fear bows. Charles Spurgeon said it best, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑 𝚘𝚏 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚏𝚎𝚊𝚛; 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚊 𝚖𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝𝚢 𝚕𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝚒𝚝 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚏𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚒𝚝.
Jesus gave me a home. His sacrifice launched me into the Father’s arms. He will not abandon me. It is a truth I stake my life on because I live it daily. I am saved glory be to God. But I still live in this body. A body that craves. A body with desires. A body that moves in a fallen world. My saving grace is none other than Jesus. In the name of Jesus, I can take every thought captive. I can surrender my mind and body. I can lay down my will. I can crucify idolatry. I can say no. I can resist. All because of Jesus.
When I recommend a restaurant, product, or service it is because I have had 1st hand experience with it. I am less likely to give a passionate endorsement if only based on secondhand opinions. We must first experience God for others to experience Him in us. We reveal God when He reveals Himself to us. That comes with relationship, not religion. This way when we talk about Jesus it does not come off pretentious, preachy, or holier than thou. I am telling my story. My experience of Him. We are not advertising a rule book, but his life-giving words. We are not promoting spooky encounters, but the divine. Holy in every way. As real as real can be.
For all that He has done for me, what do I give in return? What, other than my whole heart is sufficient? Jesus lived in the will of the Father, and thus could make that audacious statement. 𝗔𝗺 𝗜 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗲? 𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶? I said earlier that I live to hear God say 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝘆 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁, but am I 𝙻𝙸𝚅𝙸𝙽𝙶 for Christ? The same verse goes on to say, 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮 𝗳𝗲𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀; 𝗜 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗽𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀. 𝗘𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿. I don’t know about you, but I also want that joy now, not just in the sweet by and by. To be trusted with many things now, here on earth so I can do more for His kingdom. Stewardship now, and later. Joy now, and later.
Think of something or someone you love. What did you sacrifice to get that thing, or be with that someone? Let’s make it a tad simpler. Think of a goal you achieved despite the hurdles– career, education, health et al. How much time, money and effort did you invest? That’s sacrifice. Why should God get less?
My intent for this post is to stir up a desire in you for more. God is bottomless. There is no end to Him. He welcomes the Oliver Twist in you. Ask for more of Him, so more of Him can pour out of you.
In our daily lives, and at the pearly gates let us all hear the Father say, 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝘆 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁.