Thursday, January 11, 2018

Obeying God's Will - Will Cost You Something - Your Own

As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon…, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. —Luke 23:26

{CHAMBERS} “If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.  […] Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, “I will not cause other people to suffer”? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him. Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.”

{ELGIN} As so often happens, I was just talking with a friend about this very issue.  Our life on mission has required that we leave our family behind in order to serve in the places, that God has sent us.  (Matthew 16:24) “If anyone comes after Me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Me.”  Have you ever thought about what that might be?  Di you associate it with and limit it to intra-personal things and not others?  The truth is that God wants your total devotion .. the Greek word for total means total!  Not just what you think is sufficient.  “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.” Really?  When God says, “Give it up” are you willing to do that?  Really?  Or are there certain things that you or those around you have decided are just too much.  My friend, in Texas, told me that when he first met me and I told him that we had left our twin grandchildren in the care of friends for two months and we came to Texas … well, he didn’t think nice thoughts.  Have you ever heard “Family is everything”?  Not in the Bible.  God is everything. That is in the Bible.  Our devotion must be to God first.  Loving others springs out of loving God (Matthew 22:37-39)

Before we came to Texas, another friend asked to meet with me over coffee.  I discovered that his agenda was to convince me that I should delay my departure until a better time for the twins.  Makes sense … except God had told us to go .. now.  So we were faced with a choice.  Yield to the reason of man and say no to God, not now.  Or yield to God and trust in His sovereignty.  The first friend in Texas said that after he got to know me, he realized why I had made the decision, and believed it was the right one.  So what is it in your life that God is asking you to leave behind?  To let go of?  God will not make you choose Him.  That is what free will is all about.  But if you don’t, you will miss out on His best.  So my advice .. lay it down and follow Jesus .. Jesus always sought to do the will of the Father, and so should we.

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