Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Price

Over the past several months I have learned many great eye opening revelations about myself. Especially the ones that include my weaknesses. Some days I feel like Paul when he speaks in Romans 7 about his struggles with sin he says "I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate," he later goes on to say, " I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway."

Do you ever wonder why you feel that way? God has given us His word to guide us in the way we should go. He tells us what we should and should not do. His holy spirit convicts us when we are in situations that are against His will. Like Paul, we all have inward struggles of sin in our lives and the enemy is the master of tempting us to indulge in them.

It can be very difficult and trying at times do what is right and to stand for Christ and what He asks of us. Look at Peter, he denied Christ three times to try and avoid persecution, embarassment, and harassment from others. We have probably kept our mouth shut in situations where we should have said, "no this is wrong" and we probably have inflicted pain on others, intentionally or unintentionally by our actions or words. I know many of us don't always stand up for what is right in our work situations, we don't tell others about Christ because "we can't talk about church at work." We don't want to go against the popular opinion or what our culture says is "the thing to do."

When I talk about sinning it is typically because we hold other things (e.g. desires for lust, greed, material possessions, people, etc.) above Christ. We don't necessarily think of it in that way, but by giving into our own wants and desires we are essentially being selfish and doing what we want to do, rather than what we know we should do; we are denying God and His word. We gratify ourselves and give into worldly pleasures.

God's word calls us to be "obedient and to listen to his commands." It definitely isn't the easy way to live...always obeying His word. Like author Mary Kassian says, "The price of obedience is suffering and self denial. It's costly." Christ tells us ,“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)" He calls us to lie down our selfish desires and follow his ways.

Those words call us to very high standards that may very well cost us our friends, our jobs, our reputations, and maybe even our own lives. But the very price that we pay now, does not compare to the awesomeness and glory that we have in Christ.

The Lord says, "My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22)." Read, meditate, and memorize God's word so that you may help others deny themselves and know the true joy that they can experience in Christ by following His commands. God only wants what is best for His children; therefore, He gives us "rules" to abide by.

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