In 2 Timothy 2:4, Paul tells us that “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter.” We somehow have forgotten about this part of scripture. It’s always far more convenient to only talk about those areas that are comfortable for us, or the commands with which we don’t struggle. In the passage above, the recruiter is obviously Jesus. He loves you and has been drawing you towards Him your entire life. Getting “entangled in the concerns of civilian life” means becoming obsessed with achieving success outside of His kingdom or constantly striving to acquire all the stuff that your neighbors and society at large have convinced you that you need.
Archives for May 2013
Perhaps the most important question we can ask ourselves each day is, “How will I make this day count for God’s purposes?” What if we each would start our mornings by asking that question? Before the coffee, before the shower, even before our feet hit the floor, we should be asking what Christ would have us do in the next twenty-four hours. How could we most look like Jesus as we go throughout our day? I wonder how different our lives might look if we would implement this small discipline. Indeed, consider how the world might be transformed if we would all live each day with such intentionality.
A reader recently wrote that they “didn’t know any Christians doing all the things you write about”. They were referring to things like feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, the sick, orphans, and widows; demonstrating God’s love, peace and patience. All the things Jesus told us to do. That the whole of the comment was caustic and meant to discredit what I write about was not what troubled me. You get used to things like that pretty quickly as a writer. What deeply bothered me was the fact that this person didn’t know a single soul who was following the commands of Jesus. This stuff isn’t optional. Disciples of Jesus do what He told them to do.
In David Platt’s latest book, “Follow Me”, he writes a profound truth that, if consistently grasped, would radically transform the way we live. David says, “Feel the magnitude of this: when you come to Jesus, He puts the source of His life in the center of your life. This is the heart of Jesus’ call to follow Him. When you become a Christian, you die, and Jesus becomes your life.” Those of us on a journey to follow Jesus already know this in our heads, but have we truly grasped it in our hearts? Think about what is implied here. We die. Everything we once found so valuable, all that we considered worth working towards, every source of pleasure – none of it matters anymore.
Fernando Ortega wrote a song several years ago called, “Give Me Jesus”. Many will be familiar with the Anne Graham Lotz book and seminar of the same name. The lyrics of the song are tremendous with a refrain of, “You can have all this world/Just give me Jesus.” How amazingly beautiful, but can we honestly sing those words? Are we really willing to cede every earthly pleasure and reward for the love of Jesus? If we had nothing else, would Jesus be enough? Is knowing Jesus enough to carry us through any storm we might face in this world? This is the level of desire His love demands.