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If Anyone Wishes…

January 8, 2020

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If Anyone Wishes…

We all  have so many good wishes  for our well-being.      Our dreams  can get pretty big.      Some people imagine  that heaven  is theirs for the taking,  even though  they don’t give a hoot  about faith  in Christ Jesus.      They are confident  that their self-confidence  will easily open  heaven’s doors.

But,  Jesus says  there’s more to it  than that.      In Luke 9:23-26,  Jesus says,

If anyone wishes  to come after Me,  let him deny himself,  and take up  his cross daily,  and follow Me.

For whoever wishes  to save his life  shall lose it,  but whoever loses his life  for My sake,  he is the one  who will save it.      For what is a man profited  if he gains the whole world,  and loses  or forfeits himself?      For whoever is  ashamed of Me  and My words,  of him  will the Son of Man  be ashamed  when He comes  in His glory,  and the glory of the Father  and of the holy angels.

Jesus has ascended into heaven  as our victorious Savior  and LORD of lords.      Heaven is the glorious home  of all of God’s children — those who have put their faith  in Jesus  and look forward  to an eternally close fellowship  with our LORD.      Jesus states plainly  that His followers  are not ashamed  to claim Him  as their Savior  from sin.      In other words,  they know  they are sinners  in need  of a real salvation.

Those who wish to follow Jesus  here on earth  are wishing  to be with Him  for all eternity — away from  all the ugliness of sin  and unbelief.      But,  that glorious wish  and hope  comes with a price.      We are to:   deny ourselves,  take up our crosses daily,  and follow Jesus.

When we deny ourselves,  we are not thinking  of ourselves first.      We need  to be thinking of Jesus  first.  So,  in every life situation,  our first thought should be,  “How can I best serve Christ  in this situation?”      If we are facing a temptation,  facing mockery,  hatefulness,  or whatever,  our first reaction  should be  to put God’s will first  in our lives.

We are  to take up our crosses.      Our cross  could be rejection  from our family,  co-workers,  or neighbors.      It could be  needing to endure  a health issue,  financial issue,  or some other issue  requiring a stronger faith  in the Lord.      Whatever troubles ( crosses ) become a part  of our lives,  we are to not complain — but rather,  trusting in God  to carry us through,  we are to gladly bear with it all,  knowing  that God will work all things  for our good  in the end, whatever that needs to be  in God’s will.

Then Jesus said  we are to follow Him.      We are to imitate Jesus’ faith,  hope,  and love  while He lived  on earth  as a true man.      He was a man  who experienced loneliness,  poverty,  mockery,  rejection,  hunger,  grief,  temptation,  and every other human imposition.      He went through it all  without sinning.      In our weaknesses,  our  “following”  won’t be perfect.      Yet,  for Jesus’ sake,  we are to accept our Lord’s help  and continue following.

All of this — because  we have nothing  to be ashamed of.

There is no sense  in being ashamed  of the God  who created all things  and then,  in an outpouring of love,  paid for all our sins  on the cross.      Rather,  Jesus is our joy,  and we find completion  in serving Him  and looking forward  to His coming  “in His glory”.      Then,  we say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord Jesus,  thank You  for being with us  every step  of the way!”

Love,
Margaret

 

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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