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Tropical Leaves

The Cost to Follow Christ

January 18, 2023

Jesus teaches what we need to do to have him come in and dwell with us.
Revelations 3: 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Jesus said he is standing at the door of our heart calling and knocking, but the one inside needs to recognize his voice and then opens door and lets Jesus in.
Jesus will not force his way in, the owner must open the door when he recognizes Jesus’ voice because they love him the way Jesus wants them to in John 14.
I have heard when people are invited to receive Jesus is for the forgiveness of their sins by raising their hand and repeat a prayer to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord but they do not emphasize that they will have eternal life with God which Jesus came to give.
We cannot assume that people are saved just because they raised their hand and said they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior because only the individual and the Holy Spirit will know if they truly accepted Jesus and that they want eternal life with God.
Remember the thief who just asked Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom only Jesus saw this man’s faith and told him today, he would be with him in paradise.
In Philippians 2, Paul teaches that we need to work out our understanding of our salvation with fear and trembling that it is true to Christ. Knowing that you have truly made Jesus your Lord. Paul said salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus confessing he is your Lord because you are his disciples obeying his teachings which becomes your spiritual act of worship as a living sacrifice for him.
Jesus teaches what we must do to be a living sacrifice for him.
Matthew 16: 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
Jesus teaches in Luke 3 things we need to deny or sacrifice ourselves from too be able to follow Him.
Luke 9: 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
Jesus is saying that earth is not his home, so like Jesus we must deny making this earth our permanent home but desire to be with Jesus and follow him home to heaven. When you want earthly things like an earthly home more than following Jesus, they become thorns in your life.
Luke 8: 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
The next thing we must deny ourselves is our concerns about death.
Luke 9: 59 He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
To follow Jesus is to want to proclaim the good news of eternal life in God’s kingdom and not so much be concerned about death or how we bury our dead. Jesus said let the dead bury their dead because those who believe in Jesus will never die,
John 11: 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Who are the dead?
John 3: 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
The dead are those who are condemned to perish because they do not believe in Jesus, God’s one and only Son. They are the dead who bury those who die not believing in Jesus.
But we who believe in Jesus will not perish but proclaim and celebrate eternal life with other believers whose body have fallen asleep in Jesus and whose spirit have gone home to be with Jesus in heaven.
The next things we must deny is loving others more than Jesus.
Luke 9: 61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." 62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Jesus is saying you must deny yourself from loving your family more than him or you will not understand his teachings or be worthy of him.
Luke 14: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers, and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus is not teaching to hate your family he is teaching you to hate their teaching if it is in conflict or denies his teaching because it will prevent you from being his disciple that understands his teachings and commandments.
Matthew 10: 37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
To follow Jesus is to love him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength which is the greatest commandment and to love your mother and father more than him is to place God second in your love which will make you not worthy of him. In heaven you will have only one Father and all believers his children and Jesus your brother.
So, make Heaven your home, live in the hope of eternal life and love
God with all your heart and he will provide for all your needs on earth.
Matthew 6: 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Be safe in Jesus, Ps. Glenn

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