Did you know there’s a cost to following Jesus?
Well, there is. The Lord requires you to lay down your life and follow Him. And sometimes that means we have to do really hard things, like walk away from the spiritually dead or not mourn those that we love.
Listen to this...
In Matthew 8 verses 18-22, "Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, 'Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.'
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
Now some would think Jesus is being way too harsh. I mean, really, who would tell another human being not to mourn their parent’s loss? Even worse, who would refer to a person's father as spiritually dead?
Well, Jesus did not worry too much about a person's feelings, rather He preferred to speak the truth in love. It seems many people wanted to listen to Him, even when His words were offensive. Scripture says large crowds would follow Him from all kinds of cities, just to hear Him teach!
That's so different than what we see today. People will come to a building when a preacher is speaking about unity and love, but they refuse to attend when a pastor shares the actual Word of God.
Unfortunately, today's "Christians" do not accept the majority of what Jesus said because the Word of God does not go with the times of the culture, and is not very progressive. But Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."
We must remember that "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
When we see Jesus as our Savior but not as our Lord, we have totally misrepresented who he is.
We must remember that Jesus is the "Word of God that became flesh and dwelt among us."
He is the Lamb of God - the only One worthy to open the scroll.
It's so important that we don't flip the script, and create our own narrative based on who we think God is. He spoke His thoughts into existence and gave us His Word in so many ways - through the Prophets, the Law and the fulfillment of Jesus.
God wrote us a Book so that we would not forget where we come from and who He is. He sent His Seed into the world to break the curse and be a blessing to us. And all that He asks for is for us to believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior - the fulfillment of His promise!
In this heaven, Jesus is known as the Lamb, who sacrificed himself to save the spiritually dead. But when he returns he will come as a Lion, ready to rule those who spiritually live, in the new Jerusalem - when Heaven and Earth are reborn.
You see, when a human comes to the end of their physical life, their body returns to dust. Their spirit ascends into the courtroom of heaven, where God administers his final judgment based on his just justice.
If a person chooses to accept God’s gift, the blood of Jesus pumps through their spiritual heart.
And Jesus who is our great advocate, will rebuke every accusation that comes out of Satan.
And the sevenfold Spirit is witness to this.
If the Spirit of God is not in them, then the gavel of God will come down, and that spirit of man is cast out of heaven, like chaff in the wind.
Don't you see the importance of this?
We spend so much time attending to the cares of this world, that we forget how important salvation is. So many people focus on the works of the flesh, that they forget to impart the Word of God! We do such a good job at feeding the poor, but we forget to attend to the spirit of the man who is physically rich. And while caring for the poor is our Christian obligation, so is ministering to the man who has not heard the gospel message.
Do you know what God told His prophet, Ezekiel?
He told Ezekiel that he was about to lose his treasure, his wife; and that he could not take time to mourn her loss - because the Word of God had no time to stop!
“Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.”
“So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do.”
Then the people asked, “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?”
So I said to them, “A message came to me from the Lord, and I was told to give this message
to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will defile my Temple, the source of your security and pride, the place your heart delights in. Your sons and daughters whom you left behind in Judah will be slaughtered by the sword. Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought by friends. Your heads will remain covered, and your sandals will not be taken off. You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will groan among yourselves for all the evil you have done.
Ezekiel is an example for you; you will do just as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold - their joy and glory, their heart’s desire, their dearest treasure - I will also take away their sons and daughters.
And on that day a survivor from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened. And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Brethren - for some reason the Lord has laid on my heart the need to speak His Word out loud! Do not take what I write for granted, because it reflects the Word of God! Take what you hear back to scripture, and discern for yourself if it is a reflection of Him. If there is something that does not line up, then shame on me for being a false prophet. But if I write what the Word of God says, then you can be sure it is trustworthy and true. I pray the words that come into my heart and out of my mouth glorify the Most High God!