What is everything, you ask?
How about your marriage? Have you given God your marriage? Have you put to death your marriage so that it glorifies God?
How about your sex life? Have you given God your sex life?
How about finances? Have you given God your control of your finances?
How about family? How about your kids? How about your career? How about your gifts, talents, and skills? How about your future, your goals, your dreams, your hope of a comfortable retirement? How about your hurt, pain, scars, and disappointments?
Whoo, whoo, whoo, hang on here, this is beginning to sound a little too much, a little to radical for me. I’m okay with the Jesus thing, I’m okay with the church thing, but…my marriage, my career, my future, my finances, my sex life…
These are things that are mine. I want to be in control of them. Jesus has no right, no place in some of these things.
Well, no, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.
Jesus wants it all and he should get it all.
You see the verse that follows Luke 23,
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
verse 24, well it says,
24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
And Mark 8:34
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Well Mark 35 says,
35 For whoever wants to save their life[b] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
And Matthew 16, well, do I need to read it? Because it says the same thing.
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
Let me bring this to a close and an invitation.
I thing there is something more that we need to be doing as followers of Jesus. It’s more than just coming to church. It’s more than just believing in Jesus. You see, anybody can do those things. But what I am seeing in the Bible is that we are called to be disciples, to live our lives completely for the glory of Jesus Christ. And that includes the areas of our lives that we think we have power over. If we give everything to Jesus, and live every day for his glory, then we are living lives of obedience. Then we can say that we follow Jesus!
I want to invite you to join me for the next couple of weeks, and together we’ll explore what it means for us to pick up our cross, become a disciple, and follow Jesus.
I can’t promise you that you will like every topic. I can’t promise that every topic will be relevant to you. But I believe that we need to be challenged to think outside of our cultural norms and truly consider what it means to live for Jesus.
And yes, we will discuss our finances, our marriages, our sex lives, our families and children, our future, and our hurts.
My hope is that together we will find the freedom that comes when we stop living for ourselves and begin living for God’s glory.
The Brady’s once said, “When it’s time to change, then it’s time to change.”
Well, I think it’s time to make some changes
* The Change, is an excerpt from the current teaching series by Jay Higham, at Harvest Church. This week Jay will be post the written version of our weekend message here on the blog. And please check out the Harvest Church website at www.HarvestChurchToday.org.