I don’t have children, so maybe I just don’t understand about putting your children’s extra-curricular activities first.
I don’t have children, so maybe I just can’t relate to waiting until the last minute to work on projects or schoolwork.
I don’t have children, so maybe I don’t understand what it means to be tired.
I don’t have children, but….I do know this.
God wants our best, not our leftovers.
(This is an excerpt from Crazy Love by Francis Chan)….
…As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are—lukewarm—are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.
In Revelation 3:15–18, Jesus says:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a “Christian” without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.
So, to me, God wants our first, not our last.
God wants to be our 1st priority, not our I’ll-fit-Him-in-if-I-have-time priority…..
The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.”–Brandon Sanderson
Vital: Your salvation, your relationship with Jesus Christ, and your opportunity to be with a body of believers in a Christian community
Important: extra-curricular activities or I’m-too-tired-to-go-to-church
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with playing sports, taking gymnastics, doing homework, watching T.V., relaxing, etc……but those are not vital to our well-being.
I’m 100% sure that the day I meet my Savior, He is not going to ask me whether or not I won the championship game in Little Dribblers, got a medal in gymnastics, or watched the latest episode of Duck Dynasty.
But, I think He will want to know….what did I do in my life to further my walk, to influence others, and to spread the Gospel?
In Matthew 16:24–26, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
Deny himself….give up desires of his/her heart.
Follow Me….further his/her walk and follow Jesus Christ and HIS ways.
(excerpt again from Crazy Love)
Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You’ll notice that He didn’t add, “But hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians—you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.”
I love the sarcasm Francis Chan displays in that last sentence…..”you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.”
Exactly…..people think, “OK, I’ve accepted Him. I’ve gotten baptized. I’ve got my ticket. I’m home-free.”
WRONG—Christianity is anything but that…..
- It is a commitment to faith.
- It is a commitment to the (church) family.
- It is a commitment to the desire to change.
- It is a commitment to a new radical way of living.
- It is a commitment to a community of believers.
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
- “spur one another on toward love and good deeds…”
- “not giving up meeting together…”
- “encouraging one another…”
But, we can’t do any of that unless…..we see each other. Unless we meet together. Unless commitment is present.
One day the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water and Peter yelled out that he wanted to walk on the water too (Matthew 14:22-31). Jesus told him to come and so Peter, with all his focus on Jesus, stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus.
But then, the Bible tells us, Peter got distracted by the waves and the wind and, once Peter’s eyes were no longer fixed on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” he began to sink into the water.
We cannot walk on water while trying to focus on whatever we want–sometimes Jesus, sometimes waves, sometimes God’s priorities for our lives, sometimes trivial pursuits, sometimes the purpose God created us for, and sometimes—“the sin that so easily entangles.”
God wants our best, deserves our best, and demands our best. From the beginning of time, He has been clear that some offerings are acceptable to Him and others are not. Just ask Cain, upon whose offering God did not look with favor (Genesis 4:5).
(excerpt from Crazy Love)
It’s easy to fill ourselves up with other things and then give God whatever is left. Hosea 13:6 says, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty for giving Him nothing. A mumbled three-minute prayer at the end of the day, when we are already half asleep. Two crumpled-up dollar bills thrown as an afterthought into the church’s fund for the poor. Fetch, God!
When we put it plainly like this—as a direct choice between God and our stuff—most of us hope we would choose God. But we need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward, and where we will invest our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting Him. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all?
We disgust God when we weigh and compare Him against the things of this world. It makes Him sick when we actually decide those things are better for us than God Himself. We believe we don’t need anything Jesus offers, but we fail to realize that slowly, almost imperceptibly, we are drifting downstream. And in the process we are becoming blind, being stripped naked, and turning into impoverished wretches.
No wonder Jesus says He will spit lukewarm people out of His mouth!
Hebrews 12:1-2b, “Therefore…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”
Running the race with perseverance means we stay focused on our priorities. We don’t let other things step in and hinder us from the priority of deepening our relationship with Jesus. We don’t let other things entangle us, tying us up…
Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, your heart shall be also.”
Where is your heart? Where are your priorities?
Baseball? Gymnastics? Sleep? Laziness? Meals? A concert?
Wherever your heart is, there is your priority.