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Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus

ALL (or nothing)

When a person catches a glimpse of the awesome holiness, compassion, and magnificent servant hood of Jesus, their response is often an all out commitment, holding nothing back, inviting him to become their Lord and Savior. When we see and begin to grasp the all-out love, commitment, provision, and sacrificial payment Jesus made for us it is relatively easy to respond in kind.

But in simple direct instruction, the Bible warns us of oppositional factors that will undermine and tend to degrade and disable our initial all out commitment. These are namely the world system of self-centered politically correct philosophy, our own human flesh which cries out what about me with the rationale that if I don’t look out for me who will, and the super salesman Satan, who is a master deceiver and liar whose specialty is beautiful gift wrapping which hides the consequential destruction that lies within the tempting package. Each of these tempting distractive influences has great potential to disarm, distract, and propel us into a destructive downhill spiral, away from our initial all out commitment to Christ.

Here’s one passage that starkly emphasizes the necessity for each disciple of Christ to uniquely and distinctly put him first.  Luke 14:25-27 (NLT), called The Cost of Being a Disciple.

25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

For God to entrust his reputation and the success of his kingdom propagation to his disciples is both very vulnerable, risk taking, and honoring and challenging to us. Being his ambassadors with the ministry and message of reconciliation to God (2 Cor.5:18f) is a very high bar of God’s confidence in us and also our challenge to represent him well. Indeed it requires our all, every day, and in every way. There may be times of failure, forgetfulness, distraction, or defeat. But God provides a way back to restored fellowship with him through repentance, godly sorrow, and humble confession of sin through which he restores fellowship and makes it more difficult to slip away again.

Being all out for Christ, in the pattern of his being all out for us, is a wonderful motivating, empowering, and life-giving principle. Just as lukewarm, tepid, tasteless coffee is very unappealing, so a less than all out life for Christ fails to be reflective of who he is and of who he has called us to be. My, what a worthy pioneer, Savior, and Lord is Jesus Christ, full of grace, truth, motivating challenge and empowerment.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

 

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live

All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now,

All to Jesus I surrender
Make me Savior wholly thine
May Thy Holy Spirit fill me
May I know Thy power divine

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all!

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