December 14, 2015

Give Up Everything

Written by Boyd Bailey

Give Up Everything 12.14

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 14, 2015   

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33

Am I willing to give up everything for the sake of the gospel? I asked myself this question after returning from India on a recent mission trip. The comforts of my modern culture can cause me to gravitate to the comfortable. I reflected on my American expectation for financial security in contrast to my Indian friend who has educated the poor for 30 years without cash compensation. Has a desire for riches replaced my passion for Christ’s true riches? Honest evaluation keeps me authentic about my intentions to grow into a genuine disciple of Jesus. I give up to grow up.

Jesus was not shy in addressing the large crowds about commitment. If the audience was merely enamored by miracles, healing and revolutionary teaching—without personal heart transformation—they did not qualify to be disciples. Jesus the teacher clearly defines His discipleship terms: unequivocal surrender. Unquestionable loyalty to the Lord holds up under the pressure of persecution. A disciple is a student—a lifetime learner, who is always in the process of applying the truth. Our journey with Jesus is all about giving up everything for Jesus.

“But whatever former things were gains to me [as I thought then], these things [once regarded as advancements in merit] I have come to consider as loss [absolutely worthless] for the sake of Christ [and the purpose which He has given my life]” (Philippians 3:7, AMP).

Are you holding back anything from your heavenly Father? There may be a relationship you hope will change, but in the meantime the Lord wants you to give it up to Him. The Holy Spirit may lead you to give up a job opportunity so He can guide you into a better career change. Give up your child to Christ— He can give your son or daughter exactly what they need. How do you give up everything? By wholehearted faith in Jesus, who gave up everything on the cross for you. Trust the One who died for you—to give back salvation, peace and security.

When we give up everything it does not mean we have to give over everything. A test of the heart helps us get to the heart of our motives. Our open handedness allows the Lord to add and take away from our lives at His discretion, but our close fisted hands define who we really trust, ourselves. Forsaken idols foster our faith, but idols held close compete with our devotion to Jesus. We are born naked, we die naked and by faith we live naked, only clothed by our commitment to Christ. We give up everything for God so we can receive all we need from God. Discipleship costs everything!

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I give up everything so I can become a faithful follower of Jesus.

Application: What is the Holy Spirit asking me to forsake so I can know Christ better?

Related Readings: Job 1:21; Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 19:21; Acts 2:45

Post/Tweet this today: Forsaken idols foster our faith, but idols held close compete with our devotion to Jesus. #giveupeverything #WisdomHunters

Worship Resource: 4 minute video- Crowder: Lift Your Head Weary Sinner

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Comments

  1. Edward says:

    I think people of influence should be careful about telling Christians to give up everything and the implication that material wealth is to be abandoned or even scorned to be a true follower of Jesus. I don’t think GOD calls all of us to abandon our wealth and live humbly. I do think however, that he admonishes us to be faithful stewards of his blessings and to be generous, esp to the poor. GOD calls some of us to be leaders in business, politics and our communities. He calls some of us to be employers and educators to use our money and our influence to minister to the body of Christ and a to a lost and dying world. It is all to easy and simplistic to espouse a platitude of giving it all up for Christ. If we do that who will have anything to support ministries like this one. If the LORD gives it to us then I am not sure we need to be so quick to abandon it which is essentially the easy way out. We need to consider carefully the calling the LORD has upon our life and use we have been given to be faithful stewards and ensure our wealth is used as the LORD leads.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Edward,
      Thank you so much for your thought provoking comments after reading “Give Up Everything”. Many of your comments were aligned with what Boyd was focusing on in this devotional. While I cannot speak for Boyd, I do think that his statements in the last paragraph of the devotional may clarify your concerns about the implications of giving up material wealth in order to be a true follower.

      Boyd states “When we give up everything it does not mean we have to give over everything.” He goes on to say “An open handedness allows the Lord to add and take away from our lives at His discretion, but our close fisted hands define who we really trust, ourselves.” My “take-a-way” from that was we are to completely give up our hearts to God and pray for His guidance on how to steward “His” money, along with everything He has blessed us with.

      You are so right, He absolutely DOES call us to be faithful stewards of His blessings and to be generous, especially to the poor.

      While giving up everything could well mean surrendering our material things (if that is what He is calling us to do) it also means giving up or surrendering our worries, our children, our jobs, and our lives to Him.

      Your last comment, “We need to consider carefully the calling the LORD has upon our life and use what we have been given to be faithful stewards and ensure our wealth is used as the LORD leads” is true and I rejoice in the fact, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us as we go to God in prayer.

      Thank you again, Edward, for your input. We always appreciate our fellow wisdom hunters sharing their thoughts and wisdom.
      May you and your family have a Merry Christmas.
      Grateful for you~
      Gwynne
      “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.”
      2 Thessalonians 1:11


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