Sunday, September 9, 2012

Focus On Christ, Not Sacrifice

"If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." (John 12:26)

Will anyone follow Jesus? That is the real question of life, eternal and here on Earth. Intellectualize any way you want it, it comes down to your will or His.

Anyone can serve. "For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:11-13 ESV)

Not everyone will serve - "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21 ESV)

So who will enter the Kingdom? - "....whoever does the will of my Father..." Jesus said.

Look before you leap. Jesus gives fair warning to those who open their mouths to follow Him. "Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." (Matthew 8:18-22 ESV)

Jesus said... "and where I am, there will my servant be also." This wil surely mean a life of sacrifice, though the focus is on Christ, not sacrifice. Paul said it best. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21 ESV)

The reward for following Christ will come from the Father, to a true servant of Christ. As a merchant honors genuine cash money, so will the Father honor a genuine follower of the Son. Counterfeits will be discarded.

Don't get caught up in the sacrifice required to be a genuine Christ-follower. Trust Him to provide all your needs, according to His riches in glory. Put your focus on honoring and obeying Christ. The rest will work itself out. Yes, this requires "faith".