Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. -Matthew 6:21 NLT
What is it to truly follow Jesus? I’ve been asking myself that question for some time now. It seems like I, along with many others, have only been partially following Him. What do I mean? I mean, I worshipped on Sundays and Wednesdays, and from time to time on ‘non-church’ days. But I have to say I hadn’t given Him everything.
A few months back, I decided, along with a dear friend, to read the Bible from start to finish. I grew up with the Bible, but never have successfully read through it in its entirety. Also around that time, I decided that I knew God was real.(After questioning it from time to time.) But I wanted to know Him for myself. Not what others said about Him. But an actual relationship with my Creator.
My faith had mostly grown cold, so it was almost like starting from scratch.
Over the past several months, l have experienced far more growth than I was expecting. In some ways I feel like it’s not as fast as I want, and in other ways I feel like it’s just a process and relationships take time.
Lately my Pastor has been preaching on being apart from the world, and how to cultivate a culture pleasing to God. Honestly, at first, I thought it kind of sounded like legalism. We’re saved by Grace, right? Well yes. Are sins are washed by the blood of Jesus, and we’re saved by Grace through Faith, but it does so much more than that.
Grace not only saves, it EMPOWERS.
Through my Pastor’s teaching, reading the word for myself along with various other teachings including John Bevere and Perry Stone, I’ve come to a new realization. Our actions really do matter! Of course I’ve always known this, but just not to the new revelation I now have. Grace not only saves, it EMPOWERS. It empowers us to live Holy and Righteous before God.
1 John 2:15-17: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the Love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. -KJV
Lately He has really been dealing with me, especially with separating myself from the world. If we’re supposed to do everything for His glory, honor, and praise, can we truly say that we do? Is that movie full of sin and death worth watching? Is that song everyone listens to worth taking your eyes off of Jesus?
I feel like I have so much more to say than I really can in a blog post, but I’ll touch on a couple more things real quick.
Prayer, Reading His Word, and Worship are VITAL. I always heard it, but never did it to the extent I do now. It truly makes all of the difference in the world. How can you get to know someone if you rarely speak to them? If you rarely spend time together?
God wants us to be so consumed with Him that there’s no room for anything else.
Another thing. Do we hate sin? Really. Do we hate sin? Then how can we, (me included), be tolerant of it? We allow it in our homes every day, then wonder why we’re not feeling the presence of God like we used to. I used to be like that. I got to the place where I still new sin was wrong, but I tolerated it in movies and tv shows, because, ” I don’t live that way, so it’s okay”. It will even affect your concern for the lost. Without Christ, their sins will take them to hell. And we cannot tolerate or be okay with that.
Let me say something. If the Word of God feeds our Spirit Man, and it’s even called the Bread of Life, then that means you can spiritually feed on other things. I used to think, As long as the majority of my time is with God, it doesn’t hurt to watch a movie or anything here and there. But that ideology is so wrong.
Physically, if you’re on a strict diet, lifting weights, working out, that diet is what sustains and supplies the necessary fuel and nutrients to do the work in the first place. If you eat anything you’re not supposed to, you’ll pay for it. How much more important than that you feed your Spirit the necessary nutrients!
What it all comes down to is your love for Jesus. Is He your first, or your Only? I want to do everything for Him, and Him alone. My Love for Him is not where it should be. But as I grow in Him and get all of the world out of me, I know it will continue to grow. I encourage you today, to search your heart. If you marry someone, you commit yourself to them only. Jesus is coming back for a Bride, without spot or blemish. I truly want to be found to be a good and faithful servant. I hope and pray that you do too.
“He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.” – Ephesians 5:27
The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” -Luke 10:27,28
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans–I will come to you.” -John 15:15-18
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ -Matthew 25:23