Saturday, October 8, 2016

Believing in Christ is One Thing... But, Following Christ is NOT for Sissies

It is one thing to believe in God, it is a WHOLE other thing to do as Jesus said and. "Take up your cross, and FOLLOW me."
A man named, Tullian Tchividjian wrote a book called "Jesus + Nothing = Everything"  In that book one thing he said knocked me down.  He pointed out that what Jesus was actually saying was, Take up the electric chair, the hangman's noose that was meant for YOU and follow me.  Pretty clear that Jesus was telling us that to follow Him, our old self must die.

Believing in Christ is one thing... James 2:19 says
"You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!"

Believing in Jesus?  Oh... that is Bethlehem... a manager... angels singing to shepherds on a hill top! JOY TO THE WORLD!
Following Jesus?  Wait a minute!  That means acknowledging that cross situation.  A man in agony... I put him there.  A heavenly Father turning His face away.  My sin did that!

Following Him means He died for me, so that he could live through me.  So, the old Sharon has to get out of the way.  There is no place for her any more.  I am very serious, I want to do this SO much. I want Christ to live, and forgive and love through me.  And it is not easy... it is HARD to do.  To be frank, I DON'T want to let Him do it... but, at the same time... I am desperate for Him to do it.

This past week, I was hurt very badly by someone that I considered a friend.  And, the Lord has been dealing with me about forgiveness.  Loving those who have mistreated me. Praying for them.  You know what I am saying inside????


Two areas of scripture kept coming to mind every time I would get angry and want to do something about it...
Matthew 5:44-45
 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
Romans 12:20-21 ( Paul is quoting Proverbs 25:22 here)
"Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Spurgeon's comments on the verses in Matthew just kicked me in the backside!  He said Christ brought a new central rule to the universe... LOVE.  And, that it is VERY presumptuous of me as a follower of Christ to think I have the right NARROW that love down  and block it from anyone.

THEN.. the Lord led me to this man's comments on "the heaps of burning coal". (Jeremy Myers)

What Does It REALLY Mean to Heap Coals of Fire on Someone's Head?

Well, I was humbled!  KNocked flat in fact.  And, I got in some serious prayer time.  The Lord healed that wound and He helped me forgive the one who hurt me.

Now, some things are WAY harder than others to forgive... and some of you are going through things that I do not know if I could forgive.  I would just have to lean on the Lord and hope that He would give me grace to do it.  But, the only way for me to have ALL that God wants me to have is to do things HIS way.  My motives may be entirely selfish... I want all God has for me.  God will help me work on my motives, too I am sure.

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