Wednesday, August 18, 2010

abandonded to Love

We have all fallen short. We have all sinned and defamed the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

We are in need of Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus lived the life we never could. He was sinless. He was an acceptable sacrifice for the sins of all men.

Out of love, He took the sinner's place. He took my place. He endured the wrath of God and died my death.

Yet Love was victorious—even over hell. On the third day, He rose again and now sits at the right hand of God the Father.

His gift of life is free to all. "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).

Accepting Jesus' grace does not simply save us from hell. His grace enables us to enter into a relationship with our Creator. Our sins no longer separate us from a holy God, because we are clothed in Christ's pure and spotless righteousness.

Knowing Jesus Christ compares to nothing in this world! Along with the apostle Paul, I count all things as rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord! In the same breath I humbly confess I did nothing to unearth Christ's surpassing worth. My conviction is solely the working of the Holy Spirit, which unblinded my mind and enabled me to behold Christ's glory. I am the worst of sinners and yet Jesus did not come to call the righteous. He came to call sinners to repentance.

While I have accepted Jesus into my life, I have in recent months been wrestling with what it means to allow Him to become my life:

"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 and for the gospel will save it." (Mark 8:34-35).

"In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).

These verses call for radical abandonment to Christ. Deny yourself. Take up your cross daily. Give up everything.

I have been wrestling with these verses for months—and still am. The following is what the Lord has revealed to my heart:

In Matthew 7 Jesus says: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

There will be people who will stand before the throne of God—people who called themselves Christians—who will be rejected by Christ. Why? A label is not enough to save us. Christian deeds will not save us. Nor is it enough to have an intellectual knowledge of Jesus Christ. We must be born again. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit—the seal of redemption. And the Holy Spirit will lead us where He led Jesus: the cross.

Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Why? Jesus' call to abandonment and self-denial is a call of love. Jesus Christ is the only One who can truly satisfy. All is rubbish compared to Him! His love—which surpasses knowledge—is so wide, long, high and deep that He longs to give us that which is best: Himself.

"Crucify your desires that you may know Me more." "Give up everything to obtain Me, the true treasure." "Carry the cross of Christ that others may see Me, the Christ on the cross."

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