Give of yourself

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38 KJV 6.38.KJV

Many people interpret this verse as meaning we should give more to the church as a tithe and we will be rewarded with more money. That is not its true meaning. We are to give of ourselves. Our life, our time and our abilities and obedience to Jesus and His call on our life because of the atonement and the grace that we have been given. After you have given your heart to Him and have become a disciple following Him and His example daily, your life will be enriched with joy because of the awesome and wonderful gifts you have been given! Your sins have been forgiven and you will live in eternity with Jesus!

You will be walking with Him in eternity but what about now? That is what “take up your cross and follow Me” is referring to. Put your old life on the cross, whatever it may have been. An addiction or any other thing that you were holding onto before you came to know Him.

Enoch walked with God and he was taken up to Heaven one day. Elijah was also taken up to Heaven without seeing death. Jesus also said to “take up your cross and follow Me” meaning walk with Me daily. Many people are confused about the “take up your cross” part of that command because there is no real definition about what our cross is. It could be your addiction or a painful relationship that you need to either work on fixing or get help with overcoming the pain it caused. But there was another phrase that Jesus placed in front of taking up your cross and that was to “deny yourself”.

Both of them together could be interpreted to mean something that is getting in the way of your ability to follow Jesus that you need to put away or lay down. Again it could be an addiction or some other “thing” that is getting in your way, something that you haven’t let go of even after giving your heart to Jesus. Sometimes we keep parts of our “old” life in a virtual closet and we go back to it on occasion because we just can’t let it go, but in order to be fully committed to Jesus and following Him we have to.

It is at this time that we have to seek the help of the Holy Spirit because we haven’t let go of whatever it was on our own and it is likely that we can’t let it go in our own strength. We need to ask Him to give us the strength to let go of our old way of living and help us to learn how to follow Him. The Christian life was never promised to us as an easy road to walk on. We are tempted and tried almost every hour of every day. Especially if we are actively trying to follow closely our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As long as we are going back to our “old life” we aren’t a threat to Satan but when we are truly trying to live as a Christian and take His message with us everywhere then we become a threat.

The longer and more active your life in Christ is, then the “ruler of this world” sees you as a threat to his plans. So don’t think that life will be easier when you give your heart to Jesus and begin to learn more about Him from your Bible study. The demons and powers that Satan controls will be watching you even closer because of your faith in Jesus. You can hinder their work through prayer and telling others about Jesus and what He has done for you and that makes the words that you say to others very powerful.

Don’t let go of your faith even when bad things happen because they will happen. The devil loves to trip Christians up with temptations that are specific to each of us and he’s had many thousands of years of practice. He caused Adam and Eve to disobey God’s command in the Garden and he was doing it with the angels that he convinced to follow him in his rebellion against God. He isn’t some little demon with a pitchfork and a pointed tail dancing around for fun. Satan was an archangel before God kicked him out of heaven with those who followed him but God is the Creator. As long as you have Jesus in your heart and you are following His example every day you will be fine. Make sure of your salvation soon because we are not guaranteed tomorrow morning.

Old Testament 4, Lesson 5: Elijah Is Taken to Heaven - Seeds of Faith  Podcast
Elijah being taken to Heaven.

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