Living your life for the one true God is of utmost importance to Him. That seems a very easy concept on the surface. Of course God would want his creation to live for him, and on the surface it seems an absurd statement. However, when you understand the ways of God it becomes clear that the Christian life is no bed of roses, yet the only life worth living.
In Matthew 16 starting in verse 20, we see that Jesus had shared with his disciples that he was the Christ and he tells them not to divulge this information just yet. He goes on to tell them of the horrors he will suffer in Jerusalem, and Peter jumps up in a way that may seem innocent enough and rebukes Jesus indicating that he does not want to see this happen to Jesus.
Jesus’ response gives us insight into what is important to God. “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23)
Now this seems pretty harsh for anyone to say, let alone Jesus. Isn’t he all about love and kindness? Yes he is, and this shows God’s desire for godliness, and the first step for a Christian is to grow in the renewed mind that comes about when the Holy Spirit comes inside of him. God went so far as to compare Peter to Satan. Jesus revealed that Peter’s comment was of an earthly mind, not of the mind of God.
Mankind’s tendency is to look for ways to “get along”, or “be liked” or of ways to “get ahead”. To Peter, this probably seemed a crazy thing for Jesus to do: to voluntarily go to Jerusalem to be mistreated when there were so many things he could do, such as rule as King. It is so easy for Christians to look for the easy way out, or the easier way to do things so as not to suffer any pain in the process. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)
Peter had his own ideas of what he wanted, and Jesus being persecuted and dying was not in that idea. Make no mistake, you will not impress God with your “ideas” when he has a plan. What God is most interested in is godliness. Are you godly, or do you always try to come up with an easier solution so that the world won’t hate you so much?
If a you are ever to follow Christ and live up to the term “Christian” it is imperative that you get over loving this life. Get over loving your life entirely. It is not that God doesn’t want you to have a prosperous and happy life, but not at the expense of serving him in complete obedience. It is quite clear that to be a friend with the world is to be an enemy of God. “Ye adulterers and adultresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
God takes it very seriously when a child of his loves another. “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:5-6)
God is a jealous God, and he has a plan. This plan was established before the world was even created. For a “man” or “woman” to think they could ever get anywhere with a holy God by going around “the plan” is a very bad mistake.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)
So, again, “what will you give in exchange for your soul?” Will you sell your soul for the “good life” when God has called you to preach the gospel? Will you sell your soul for pleasures of this life? To let Jesus be the Lord of your life is the only way to have a happy life that will continue into eternity. To live for yourself is pleasure for a season, but the end of that is death.
You have one life to live, so why not begin living it for God. It begins with knowing the person Jesus Christ as your savior. Have you ever called upon his name and told him you love him and want the gift he has promised of eternal life? (John 3:16) All you have to do is recognize that Jesus is God and that he died for your sins which have a penalty of death. Understand that he overcame sin by being raised from the dead on the third day by the same Holy Spirit that he promises to send to live inside of you to comfort and keep you and seal you. Repent of your sins. Then let God have control. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will renew your mind, and give you the mind of Christ. Get with “his” program by talking to God directly.
God promises never to leave you or forsake you. He promises to restore you to himself and give you life everlasting. As millions of Christians can attest, Jesus never fails. What do you have to lose? Your life.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Won’t you call on him today with a sincere heart? If he doesn’t answer you have lost nothing, but if he does, you have gained everything.
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