It seems that nowadays people want something for nothing. We must remember that nothing comes without sacrifice.
- If you desire to lose weight then you need to eat healthy and exercise.
- If you desire to get a degree, then you have to sacrifice your time and money.
- If you want the Lord to dwell in you and use you mightily, then you have to give up your ways and desires for His.
We ask God for everything. I mean all the stuff we can think of, we ask God for, like a child seated on the lap of a Santa Claus at the local mall, asking for his or her list of gifts; but realize when you ask the Lord for something, then He is also requiring something of you.
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Corinthians 7:1 NKJV
To obtain the promises, we must cleanse OURSELVES, both spiritually and carnally.
- Are you deserving of what you’ve asked for?
- Have you cleansed yourself of everything than can defile you, striving toward holiness?
- or are you going through a cleansing “process” to appear as if you’re clean, so that our Father give us what we want?
You do realize that He knows when you’re truly clean right? Have you ever asked a child to wash their hands or some portion of their body and when they return to where you are, you confirm they did? They tell you they have but you can clearly see they did not do what you asked but blatantly lied.
And we think God, who knows the number of hairs we have on our head, does not know if we have been truly keeping ourselves unspotted from the world?
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23
Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly; but it is during our toughest trials that our true commitment is revealed.
What did you give up?
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation from your family?
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of YOUR reputation?
“Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus. This is called “dying to self.” In other words, we surrender ALL!
- Bearing our cross means to live where people deliberately laugh at you when you confess the name of Christ and acknowledge Him in everything.
- Bearing your cross means living against the grain and not following the customs of the world. Catch this: EVEN WHEN IT IS SOMETHING YOU LIKE.
- Bearing your cross means people not understanding your new way of life and they would rather see you doing the same things that killed you versus doing something to give you life.
- Bearing your cross means standing, even if you have to stand alone.
What are you willing to sacrifice in exchange for what was already done for you? Praise God for freedom, but it did not come without a cross that JESUS bore and a sacrifice He gave to do the will of God. I will wear a crown and you can also, but the crown cannot be received without being earned.
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” II Timothy 4:8 NKJV