But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1 Peter 5:10 KJV
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was asking His Father if there was another way but then He said “nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done”. I know, it sounds as if I am giving a talk/sermon/post on giving your life to Jesus and in a way I am. But in our time, in the 21st century, giving your life to someone or for something means a lot more. Consider it this way: Jesus was living in the first century. He was a carpenter Who also happened to be the Savior of the world and the Son of God. His parents who raised Him were not rich in wealth. He wore very simple, home-spun cloth for His clothes. In our world today, His condition would be looked on as a man living in a very poor state of being.
God’s Word asks us to give our life to Him, surrendering everything that we have to have all of His riches in glory. We can’t imagine how Heaven is going to be. Even the prophets in the Old Testament and John the apostle didn’t have the words to describe what they saw in their visions of heaven. Any description that we can come up with today would fall very far from the reality that is there. Why do I go to such detail to tell about what we can’t describe? Because when we are asked to give our life and surrender everything to Jesus…are we able to truly give it all to Him?
For most people, the answer would be a very loud “NO!”. God cannot have my business or my family or my home! The reality from God’s perspective is that those things that we don’t want to give up are really His anyway, He is just blessing us with them while we are here. But, many of us don’t want to admit that what we see as our possessions are actually on loan from God, including our family.
Surrendering your life means far more than most of us consider but the giving of our life to Christ is necessary for our eternal home. Asking Him to take everything in your life is not telling God to take your family or your business or your home away from you. It means that you aren’t holding anything back! You aren’t telling him that “this box of goodies is mine but you can have the rest”. That is not how it works. God either has ALL of you and your life or He has nothing. Just as some people today believe either ALL of the Bible as God’s Word or they don’t believe any of it, you can’t pick and choose this part but not that one. It is the same with your life, you cannot choose to give Jesus part of your life and heart…He either has all of it or none.
Make the decision to give Him everything so that He can return the favor and the blessing to you.
I know that some of you who read this will say “Yes, I believe in Him. What kind of question is that?” That isn’t the belief that I am speaking of. Satan knows Jesus and all of the demons in hell know Him in their minds. They know He exists and that He is real but that is where the difference between knowledge of Jesus and belief in Jesus for salvation branch off from each other. You see, Satan was an archangel at one time before the creation of mankind but he like to look at himself in the mirror too much. God had created him to be the cherub that led the worship of God in heaven. Yet he was proud and became arrogant and persuaded one third of the host of angels in heaven to follow him. He wanted to sit on the throne of God.
What a silly idea. A creation of God was going to war with God in order to supplant Him from the throne. God the Father Who stretched out the heavens and flung the stars into their places with His voice and His hands. God could’ve wiped his entire army away with one command but in His mercy He didn’t. God allowed Satan to live and be a stumbling block to the human race not because God is cruel but because He knew that there would be many nations and many people all over the world. He knew that all of us would need a Savior because He knew that we were going to sin against Him and His laws. God knows your thoughts and mine and He knows that on our own we cannot be perfectly sinless because it is not in our nature.
Jesus came to live in human form but He had the nature of God not man, so even though He was tempted (and He could’ve given in to those temptations) just as we are He did not sin because He knew what His mission was. He had to stay pure and sinless to be the sacrifice for ALL of mankind. That is why He was in a constant state of prayerful communication with His Father. We can do something similar but we can’t live sinless lives. Living in a state of prayerful communication is not as hard as it seems but it does take a lot of practice. I’ve been doing it for almost ten years but there are times when I slip or rather my nature slips in and I will think or say something (hopefully out of earshot) that could damage my witness.
Human nature aside, if you truly belong to Jesus and the Holy Spirit has come in and changed your heart then you can be His faithful witness everywhere you go. If you make a mistake or slip up in any way, ask His forgiveness and move on to a better place or into a place where you can be more effective. God wants us to be His witnesses in this world so that others will want to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that all who read this will understand that I am not bragging because I do slip up more than I care to admit but our Father in Heaven loves me and He sees Jesus living in me and not the flawed human being that I am. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Many people don’t feel this way at all. Even those who are rich with wealth that the world recognizes see their wealth as their right or as a tool to get more. If you are a believer in Jesus and you know that He is your Savior then you are more wealthy than this world can know. The world around us doesn’t recognize this type of wealth because it is not the kind that you can see. It is wealth in heaven above. It is our forgiveness and our promise of eternal life with God in His house.
God loves each of you even if you don’t believe in Him or His Son, Jesus. But beware…God loved Isaac but only one of his children did God place as the most favored. He said that “Jacob I loved but Esau I hated”. Today it’s not so simple, especially in our society. Everyone wants a new home and a new car now! Nobody wants to wait and save up some money for a down payment. This “microwave generation” wants everything right now regardless of how Mom and Dad did it. It’s the same with the way people view a relationship with Jesus. They want to be assured of a place in heaven and if they don’t feel like they can learn that at this church or from this pastor or denomination then they will go somewhere else.
Many are encouraged to join a church during a revival or some special event and some do but joining a church is not the same as gaining your salvation through the actions of the Holy Spirit. Some people get caught up in the singing or the emotions of the sermon and they “feel” led to make this decision tonight and it may be the Holy Spirit touching them. The problem that we have in churches today is that once they are on the rolls of membership, they are almost forgotten. Unless they are mentored at home or join in a youth group study or Sunday school regularly they will not learn how God wants them to live and be a part of His family.
The Scriptures that are referenced in the paragraphs above are good ones to learn from but unless youread and study them more than once the principles that they have to teach will not stick in your head or your heart. Listening to God is learned through reading His Word in order to know His voice and His ways of teaching. You can’t learn by osmosis from carrying a Bible to church, if you don’t read it then none of God’s wisdom will ever take root in your heart and your life.
The book of Proverbs is one of the greatest collections of wisdom in the world but very few people read it even once in their lifetime. They will read through a novel or a self-help book by someone who says they have the answers regardless of the length or the thickness of it. Proverbs is only thirty chapters long so reading one chapter a day takes about a month. Then go back and read it through again and pray about what you have read, asking God to show you which parts apply to your life and situation. Then…read it again. Usually after the third read your brain cells will realize that this is important stuff and we should remember this. You won’t have it memorized word for word but when problems come along, you will remember that you read about that somewhere recently.
Try reading God’s Word and asking Him to show you what you need to learn from it. He will answer you with more than you were expecting to learn.
We are not supposed to seek ways to hurt each other. If you believe in Jesus for your salvation, you should show love to those around you. Reflect His love and compassion for every person that you meet today and see what a difference it will make.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 KJV