It is virtually impossible to be a disciple of Jesus Christ without living a life of self-discipline. Following Jesus means our focus shifts from being self-focused to others-focused. While this sounds noble and good, it is ridiculously difficult to implement. Our culture has so indoctrinated us with the pursuit of things we “need” and “deserve” that it becomes extremely easy to rationalize spending our time and money on things of earth rather than Heaven. Even within the church there are those that preach that following Jesus leads to prosperity and good fortune. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches (2 Timothy 3:12; Luke 9:58); serving God is all about thinking less of ourselves and more of others.
Archives for July 2012
Who wouldn’t want to live fully alive? We all want to be the best version of ourselves that we could possibly be, to achieve all that we were created to do. God has equipped each of us with a unique blend of passions, talents, and gifts. The reason we have been so blessed to receive these things is so we might accomplish all He has purposed us to do. To not utilize our gifts, to shrink back from obstacles, or to turn away from what we fear results in living a life less than the one we are capable of living. None of us want to reach the end of our life knowing we could have done more. So how do we live life fully alive? I think there are three keys…
There comes a time in each of our lives when we must choose between self-preservation and simply doing what is right. We will choose to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of a friend or give up what we want in order to gain what we truly need. It is in these times that we learn what we really value. Are we who we say we are? Do we stand for what we say we believe? We are defined by our actions, not our words. When the time comes for you to act, what will you do?
Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. It was a decent sum of money, enough to buy a piece of real estate (Matthew 27:3-10). It certainly wasn’t enough to set him up for life. He still was going to have to work for a living. Perhaps it would be easier to excuse his actions if he had been paid millions of dollars to betray his friend, not to mention the fact that this friend just happened to be the Son of God. Yet it only took thirty pieces of silver to convince Judas to turn away from the one he professed as Lord. We turn up our noses in disgust that such a small sum would entice Judas. It’s easy to say that we would never have done such a thing. Until, of course, we look at our own price for betrayal.
Every day begins pretty much the same as the last. For most of us, our lives are filled with routines that breed mediocrity and spiritual malaise. We go to bed too late, get up too early, eat the wrong kinds of food and go to work some place that is less than what we had always dreamed. Into this morass of anonymity we struggle to make a name for ourselves. If we’re really lucky, we might just do something significant for God along the way. Is this how life is supposed to be? Do you truly believe that it was to this that Jesus called you?