“Those who love Me keep my commands…”
I’ve said this many times before but I’m going to say it again:
Many people today want a Christ without a cross, faith without following and a Savior without any suffering.
They want to accept Christ as Savior but don’t want to accept Him as Lord. Salvation isn’t fire insurance and grace isn’t a get out of hell free card. Jesus is not a part-time Savior and we cannot be part-time saints. We have to either accept all of Christ and serve Him always in all ways or we don’t accept or serve Him at all.
There is no in between with Christ. You’re either all in or all out.
I now understand why God says, “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of My mouth.”
Lately I’ve been encountering more and more believers who profess Christ and holiness but indulge in sinful lifestyles.
It is one thing to stumble into sin and sincerely repent. It’s another thing when we plan out and practice sin. As my Pastor, Chance Lynch, says, “many of us plan on asking God for forgiveness for our premeditated sin before we even commit it”.
Now I’m not passing judgment with this and this isn’t a condemnation post. I myself was once that believer who praised Jesus at church on Sunday but was clubbing Thursday through Saturday. However, at some point each of us has to stop and ask ourselves, “whatchu doin fam?”
Saying “God knows my heart” doesn’t make unholiness okay. Saying “only God can judge me” shouldn’t comfort us either…it should make sin unsettling.
We are to strive for perfection not be comfortable and complacent in imperfection.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12 NKJV
I’ve been consumed with frustration lately about how indistinguishable believers are from the world today…but then I realized that I was the source of my frustration. I keep acting like being a “believer” and a “follower” of Christ are synonymous and they are NOT.
There’s a difference between being a believer and being a disciple.
A believer simply believes Jesus died and rose again. But even satan and his demons believe this. Jesus requires more than an intellectual and verbal acknowledgement.
A follower actually follows Jesus’ Word and His example. This is what Christ looks for in His disciples.
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”
James 2:19 NKJV
“He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men. Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men.””
Mark 7:6-8 HCSB
(In other words, we follow religion but don’t focus on or put effort into our relationship with God. We go to church and serve on the usher board because that’s what “we’re supposed to do” but we don’t keep the command of God Monday through Saturday. This should not be.)
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?”
Matthew 16:24-26 HCSB
“Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.”
John 14:23-24 HCSB
We CANNOT claim to love Christ if we don’t obey His Word.
“Obedience separates believers from disciples. Salvation is knowing and calling on Christ’s Name…obedience is imitating His nature. If we partake in salvation we must participate in obedience. Obedience is God’s love language.”
– Pastor Chance D. Lynch
I’m not saying that you have to cross every “t” and dot every “i” in order to profess to be a Christian but effort should be evident.
There’s a difference between struggling with sin and settling for it. We have got to stop claiming that a sin isn’t sin just to alleviate the conviction we feel.
Maybe we should lean away from using the phrase “get saved” and start using the term “surrender”.
Christ is calling us to surrender. Salvation or “getting saved” is the gift God gives to sinners who surrender to the Lord, Christ Jesus.
Are you willing to give up all that this world offers and accept what God has already freely given? Can’t embrace all that Christ Is and grab all that He has for you if you’re still clinging to the world.
Are you willing to surrender all, become obedient, take up your cross and fully walk in the discipleship Christ has called us all to?
“But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 3:7-20 HCSB
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16 HCSB
Someone’s eternity is depending on you to actually be representing Who you claim to be representing. Who are you going to bring to Christ when your lifestyle imitates the world? Those who don’t know Christ or His Word are watching us to see how a follower of Christ is supposed to live. We must discipline our bodies not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of those watching us.
It’s not just about being outwardly good either. We are really good at playing church but there must be an inward transformation…a heart change.
So, whatchu doin fam???