Ahh…. the good life, newly married, a gorgeous house, steady job, and great food – life is gooda Must say, I do thoroughly enjoy all these things and I believe every one of them is a blessing from God, but more recently, questions have really changed my heart in examining my appreciation for all these things.
Is this why you’re here?
I know I do not live “high off the hog” but everything is well… just peachy. God is good, food is good, its all good, good, good. But why is there still something that just keeps poking at me? I read God”s Word and hear of these great stories of old and hear of these cool men and women of faith who put their lives on the line for the sake of Christ and His cause. He must only need certain people to do these tasks; like, come on -we have all heard of how God called Paul. Only certain people are created to be this zealous, right?
What does God say?
I just recently finished reading the gospels and the words of Christ are piercing. Like POW- BANG- POP- I mean, ouch!! So many times it’s easy to just say: “Jesus just said that for an example” or: “ I know He said it, but come on, who lives like that? The world is totally different now. If we did what He said we would be totally taken advantage of! “
Let’s take a look and see if you ask any of those questions while reading the following…
25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Wow- extremist! Jesus is talking to you! You give your possesions, you hate your life, you love your enemy!
Now please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not trying to say we’re suppose to go around mopey ‘n sad- faced because of these things, but what I am saying is there will always be a battle when defining the good life. Is the good life living in the blessing of God or is it living in the call of God?
I like this verse:
2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
4 “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and theoffspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
The blessings are meant to follow us as we are obeying His word and letting it produce fruit in our life. Sometimes Jesus ask us to do tough stuff and the only way to do it is to pick your side. One side says: “ I’m gonna milk this God thing for all its blessings. “ and the other says: “ I am gonna be a disciple! I want to advance His Kingdom! “ Choosing the second option will not be comfortable.
Let’s look at this:
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Did he just say blessed? That doesn’t sound like a blessing. Well, that sucks so I’m gonna be miserable all the time then.
Take a look at this:
40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
These guys were weird, but believe it or not, these guys set the bar for the church and are preserved through history to be our example.
We need to be full of the Spirit of God! That’s the only way. There is no other way! If we chose the easy route we won’t make it. It’s all or nothing in these crazy times. God wants us to be like a city on a hill, the salt of the earth, His royal priesthood.
Whats it gonna take? Less of us ‘n more of Him.
How do I do that?
- Step out in faith for something
- Give to someone in need
- Read His Word!
- Share your faith with someone
Seriously, God wants His people strong, capable and alive in Him. Sometimes that takes leaving the easy North American Peachy Life!
Love you all so much!
Sincerely, your brother in Christ