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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CROSSing Over

Matthew 10: 34 - 39, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. NKJV

Whenever you and I became a believer in Christ, we made a decision to become one with Him. Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that Christ humbled Himself and became a man. After He was flesh, Jesus chose to suffer the death of the cross that He might redeem fallen man from sin. If He has redeemed us from sin and called us "out" of the world so that we can become one with Him in the Spirit, then we must obey His will.

Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh for one reason, that He might be our Kinsmen Redeemer (the book of Ruth). After the resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven and received His gloried body (John 20).  Now that He has risen from the dead, Jesus is no longer flesh. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth. Therefore, as believers and imitators of Christ, we're not to live according to the desires or ways of this world. We must be willing to die (our cross) to the flesh and it desires.

I have found that it is far easier to make an initial commitment to Christ than it is to carry out that commitment. We make commitments to become one with Christ in "good faith," but when God requires us to keep that commitment in our lives and not only in our hearts, He gives us the grace to embrace the change. As we become one with Christ in the spirit, we must be willing to love the things in this world less. In today's verses, we can see that Jesus requires us to LOVE HIM MORE. If we should choose to love this world more than Him, then we're not worthy of Him. Therefore, if the Lord has asked something of you that requires sacrifice from you, you must be willing to die to that relationship, status, or possession in order to become changed. After you have obeyed, you will receive more of His power and experience more of His love. God doesn't change, but as we allow Him to change us, it allows us to receive and experience more of Him.

Has the Lord asked something of you that you find difficult to let go of or give up for Him? If so, you're in good company. John the Baptist came to a point in his walk where he had decided to decrease so that Christ might increase. We must also decide, as John did, to decrease in our flesh in order for Christ to increase in our hearts and lives. Here's a hint: God ALWAYS has blessing and increase in mind when He asks something of us. He rewards those who diligently seek Him, especially if it costs us everything we love.

Losing the World but Gaining Heaven,
Pastor Asa

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