Friday, March 9, 2018

To Follow Jesus You Must Set Your Mind Right

Do you also want to go away? —John 6:67

{CHAMBERS} “What a penetrating question! Our Lord’s words often hit home for us when He speaks in the simplest way. In spite of the fact that we know who Jesus is, He asks, “Do you also want to go away?” […] “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66). They turned back from walking with Jesus; not into sin, but away from Him. Many people today are pouring their lives out and working for Jesus Christ, but are not really walking with Him. […] And His way means absolute devotion to Him. Showing no concern for the uncertainties that lie ahead is the secret of walking with Jesus. Peter saw in Jesus only someone who could minister salvation to him and to the world. But our Lord wants us to be fellow laborers with Him. In John 6:70 Jesus lovingly reminded Peter that he was chosen to go with Him. And each of us must answer this question for ourselves and no one else: “Do you also want to go away?””

{ELGIN} What does going away look like?  It means that we choose to be conformed to the word and not transformed (Romans 12:2) It means that we prefer our old life, its relationships, its habits, its desires over walking with Jesus and loving God more than even our own lives.  I don’t know if you have noticed, but it seems a lot easier to see the problem of leaving Jesus in other people’s lives than in our own.  If you recall, people started leaving when His teachings became harder.  There is nothing sacred in your natural life … We are to give it all up to Jesus.  When we sing “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back .. the world behind me, the cross before me .. “ that decision is a daily .. even moment by moment decision.  Living in the constant awareness of the presence of God .. it’s not so easy .. it’s not natural.  It requires effort on our part … not trying to be good … but submitting to the Spirit of God.  Salvation makes it possible … your submission to the Spirit and pursuit of obedience to the Word makes is a daily reality.  I want to point you to Galatians chapter 5 again.  Verses 19-20 describe the old nature .. what I call the fruit of the flesh.  Verses 22-25 describe the fruit of the Spirit.  On the one hand .. behavior that indicates you are not following Jesus, but have chosen your old nature to live by.  On the other hand … behavior indicates that the Spirit of God is conforming you into the image of Jesus .. that you are walking after the Spirit and not the flesh.  This is what Paul had to say about it ….

(Romans 8:5-8) “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

So, my friend, what is your mind set on .. not sure?  Take a look at the fruit you are bearing.

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