Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ruined!

My prayer lately has been, "Lord, ruin me for your pleasure".  The most dangerous prayer a Christian can ever pray is, "Do whatever it takes to make me more like you, Lord".  If we dare to pray that prayer we are praying for nothing less then our demise.   How do I know this?  Look at just a few of the things Scripture tells us:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Mk. 8:35; Lk. 9:24; 17:33)  - considering this passage, in almost identical language, is found in five different places in the gospels, two of them repeating it twice, should tell us something of its importance to God.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Ps. 116:15)

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish [or dung], in order that I may gain Christ... (Ph'p 3:8)

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you...(John 15:20)

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted... (2 Tim. 3:12).


There are many more verses and passages I can point to, but these will suffice to make my point.  My point is this:  Following Christ is not and will not be easy.  Everything in the Scriptures makes this point.  It is an Americanized gospel (aka, heresy) that teaches otherwise.  That gospel says, "Say a prayer, sign your name on a card, and go live the American dream".  The real gospel says, "Follow me and you can die like me."

When Jesus said to count the cost what do you think he was referring to?  The amount of money you would make? No, he was telling us that the cost was going to be high and, although worth it, the loses would likewise be staggering.  Yet we are constantly surprised by the hard times we go through.  We ask God why and we blame him and the Church and everything and everyone else.  I suppose it is God's fault, in a way.  But it isn't something he didn't warn us about.

If you don't want discipline, if you don't want to being told what to do, if you don't want to loose everything (job, money, prestige, reputation, family, friends, etc), if you don't want to hurt or even die, then being a follower of the suffering Messiah is not for you.

That said, if you should decide to sign up for this army, you will find in it a commander who will give everything for you...in fact, he already did.  No, I don't think it will be 'fun'.  But it will be exciting and the reward is well worth it!  And pretty soon you will find that, strangely enough, you really don't care about all those 'things' as much as you once used to.

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