Beloved, God’s grace, peace, strength and wisdom be with you on this day the Lord has made. Amen.
Hear me on this. As I read in Kyle Idleman’s “gods at war,” concerning the patriarch Abraham, I took in these words, “I think he knew that the longer he delayed, the easier it would be to disobey.” Speaking on priorities and allegiances, I want to share with you what the Lord spoke to me on the matter. I now invite you Into My HEART...
In Genesis 22 we take in the account of what may very well be the hardest thing a mere human being had to do to display where his love, faith and worship is at. The test of tests you could say. Something many if not all parents would cringe at the thought of having to do—Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son; his only son in whom he loved.
This phrasing ‘whom he loved’ is no mere phrasing. It reveals where his treasure was. It could be rendered as such: “the object of his affection.”
In the opening of that chapter we read: “so Abraham rose early in the morning” after having been commanded by God to sacrifice his son, his only son in whom he loved on the mountain God directed him to.
I will not go into the theological explanation of such scripture as that is not always the necessity to gain perspective and display faith in God’s Word.
In Luke 9, Jesus, seemingly has quite the odd response to the requests of two individuals who exclaimed that they would accept His invitation and “follow” Him. But before this response, let us look at what they said. After hearing Jesus say “Follow Me,” immediately they made legitimate requests. One to bury his father. The other to say goodbye to his family. Jesus’ response to them seems harsh. To the request of burying the father He said: “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” To the one who wanted to say goodbye, Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60,62)
Isn’t that harsh?! We would all unanimously agree that those words seemed harsh to the hearer, yet Jesus is wise in His response to them as He knows what’s in the hearts of men, and any delay in following Him would result in them disobeying as Kyle put it.
Beloved, Abraham certainly knew the cost of God being first, and a certain scribe (Matthew 8:19) and disciple of the Lord also knew the cost of following Jesus. We can be sure of this, whether we are quick to obey and follow and FOLLOW THROUGH as Abraham did to show who actually sat on the throne of his heart; his entire life, or we are not quick to obey but quick to make a “legitimate” request to Jesus as we see it, the Lord knows the thoughts and intents of men and He knows who will obey and follow or who will fall away at His Word.
Even now and these words here are an addition to the others, I am taken aback by these words I was divinely inspired to write, yet I am shown this that goes on in the world and many are quick to obey rather than making legitimate requests. Men are quick to give allegiance to a mere man rather than the Lord God who gave them life. We see in the many organizations throughout the world, whether it be military, civilian based even on the University level, that people are willing, have been willing and are increasingly willing to give allegiance to others when their outcomes are not fully made known and realized. This is why organizations such as the cells operating independently or part of a greater picture such as ISIS or Hezbollah and the Taliban have such great success with little to no interference from outside sources as their allegiance and resolve is to their leaders and cause without regard of their life nor to their earthly possessions or families. If human beings are willing to follow and do what other human beings tell them to do why would we not be willing to follow Jesus and obey Him, who is the actual way to the kingdom of heaven? The answer is in knowing the cost. Men will do many things even atrocious things all in the name of obedience to a person and a cause, yet their end is destruction. What is the cost of following Jesus? What is the cost of not following the One who gave you life and alone is the Way, the truth and Eternal Life? Let us see:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. (Matthew 16:24-27)
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)
- There is a cost of following Jesus and it is bearing your own cross and the Cross brings upon pain to its bearer as your sinful life must be crucified to it. This is that turning away from our selfish ways.
- There is a cost to not following Jesus and that is losing [forfeiting] our souls and furthermore, the Life Eternal; the Son of Man being Jesus, who is the Word of God made flesh, being ashamed of that person [unable to receive you, I, us] into His kingdom.
How I pray, when He calls, no matter the cost or the test, we would respond only with “here I am” revealing a motive and an intent to follow Jesus without regard of the outside world. May God Himself who is the strength of all men and all wise and gracious, revealing His will to us even our end before it is, strengthen us and give us wisdom, to make the right decision and be able to follow through with it to its final conclusion, ‘His kingdom come.’ Amen.
As always…YOU ARE LOVED.
— F. Lugo