Why do you follow Jesus? Is it because you are looking to have your physical or material needs met? A large number of Christians only pray in times of need. As long as things are cruising smoothly along, they have little time for prayer and even less time to actually pursue the mission of Christ. Jesus is just something that sounded good at some point in their lives, but that was a long time ago. Now He is not much more than a convenient source of help when problems arise. Living this way is sacrificing your future for some very short lived pleasures today.
Jesus didn’t come so you could be healthy or wealthy (or both!). He came to redeem you from the mess that sin had created in our world. He died for you because without Him you have no hope. He loves you and wants you to experience the joy that can only be found in returning the love of your Creator. A full and abundant life (John 10:10) is one in which you are in tune with Jesus, using the gifts He gave you for His purposes, and sacrificially serving those who do not know the transforming power provided by the love of God.
There is a difference in choosing to follow Jesus and just believing in Him. Lots of people believe in Jesus; very few surrender their lives and follow Him at any cost. For certain, if you don’t believe in Jesus, you are destined to spend eternity separated from God (John 14:6). What is far less comfortable to consider is the fact that it is just as certain that lip service alone will not get you into the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:22-23). If you believe in Jesus and find Him little more than a trump card you can play during illness or financial crisis, you are not a follower of Christ.
Loving Jesus implies that you will demonstrate that love in discernible ways. No one can love another and then choose to ignore them for most of their lives. That’s not love! True love is demonstrated in ways that lets the other party know you truly care for them. It’s the same with Jesus. You can’t say you love Him but then live your life as if He didn’t exist. The question we all must ask ourselves is, “Do we truly love Jesus or do we just want the benefits of knowing Him”?
Jesus won’t tolerate a lukewarm faith (Revelation 3:15-16). You are either for Him or against Him (Matthew 12:30). There’s no such thing as a part-time disciple. You will either choose to follow Jesus with your entire life or you will reject Him. There’s no wiggle room in the Kingdom of God. You’re either in or you’re out. There are no tour buses in Heaven. For everyone who believes in Jesus, I implore you to live each day as if it is your last. Live the truth you know, that Jesus is all that matters. Nothing else compares. Nothing else is worthy of your time.