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
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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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