As I was thinking today at home, I had a vision. In this vision, someone asked me why I serve Jesus. I told him that I serve Jesus because He loves me and gave His life for me so I could live.
Then a second man yelled at me “Jesus isn’t real!” I got the impression that the second man was a close friend the the first man I was talking to. The second man tried to convince the first man I was talking with to stop talking with me and go with him. But the man I was first talking to kept asking me questions.
So the second man walked disappeared.
I then told the man that chances are that his friend didn’t want him to learn about Jesus because he wanted to control him. That his “friend” wanted him to dress how he wanted him to dress, act how he wanted him to act, walk how he wanted him to walk, talk how he wanted him to talk, treat others how he treated others, believe what he wanted him to believe, to be who he wanted him to be. In short, that his “friend” wanted to own and control him, body, mind, soul and spirit.
That his “friend’s” friendship was conditional to him being who his friend wanted him to be.
I told the man I was talking to “That’s not friendship, that control. That true friends want you to be happy. They want you to be who you were created to be. That they don’t try to force yo to be something you’re not.”
I then told him “Jesus would never force you to do anything. He honors our freewill and created us to be unique individuals. That He would never force us to be like everyone or anyone else. I went on to say that Jesus would never ask us to do anything he did not already do for us.”
I then told him “I’m not saying that the way of salvation is easy. Salvation is a free gift paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. But walking out your new life in Christ will cost you everything.”
“Jesus gave everything He had for us so that we could live. So He has the right to ask for everything in return. Jesus gave us His very life so we could live. So is it really that much for Him to expect for us to give Him everything we have, even our very lives, holding nothing back?”
Sadly, my vision was interrupted and I didn’t get to see if that man I was talking to came to Christ or not.
But it got me to thinking. Am I (are we) really willing to give everything for the sake of the Kingdom of God? Are we willing to risk being unpopular in order to stand up for the truth and to testify to the truth to others? Are we willing to risk being mocked and ridiculed for witnessing to others about Christ? About what He has done in our lives and what He can do for others?
In Luke 14:28-30, Jesus said “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 3They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
And in Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Walking in the path of the Kingdom of God is difficult. There are many temptations and pitfalls. But we are not walking this path alone. The Holy Spirit are walking the path with us. Jesus has not left us orphans. But we must count the cost before we start.
How can we expect others to hear what we have to say if we are unwilling to first walk it out ourselves? We must be willing to do for them what Jesus did for us (minus the dying for their sin part, Jesus took care of that part).
We must show them the same love, grace and mercy that He showed us. We must lead by example. As those around us watch our lives, are they seeking our love for Jesus? Are they seeking our love for them? Are they seeing children ans servants of Jesus that are gentle and gentle at heart and Jesus was? Or are they seeing self centered, self seeking jerks?
We cannot expect other to give their hearts and lives to Christ if we first don’t do the same and walk it out for the world to see?
The Bible says that we a servants of Christ. That means that while it is true that Jesus is our Friend and our Brother, His is also our Lord and Master. He purchased us for Himself (God) with His own Blood. And therefore owns us completely.
That said, He is gentle and lowly of heart. As it says in Matthew 11:28-30: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Just as Jesus would never force is to do anything against our freewill or force us to be someone we’re not. Nor would He ever force us to be like everyone else. He died to set us free from that kind of bondage and control.
So we must never force anyone to be someone they are not. Or to be like everyone else. We are to help them figure out who Jesus created them to be and what His will is for their lives. He died for us and them so they can have live to the fullest.
The path is hard because as we seeking to live the life Jesus called us to live and to treat others the way He treated us, as we try to the work He gave us the way He taught us to do it, we are going to be attacked from both sides.
Sadly, the religious church will criticize us they way they did Jesus. They will accuse you of condoning sin. They will tell you that you have a rebellious and unteachable spirit. They will try to stand in you way. They will try to stop you and spread rumors about you.
And the world will accuse you of deceiving people and spreading “fairy tails”. They will mock you and try to discredit you at every turn.
You’ll notice that both sides will use the exact same tactics to try to get people to not listen to what the Holy Spirit is trying to say through us.
Both sides want to own and control people in the same way that the man’s “friend” did to the man I was talking to in my vision.
But we must not be silent! We must continue to speak the truth, the whole truth, holding nothing back. We are called to be used of Jesus to set people (the captives) free. We are called to be living epistles (love letters) of God to the world.
But we must count the cost. There are no social Christians in the Kingdom of God. You are either for Jesus or against Him. You either gather with Him or you scatter.
As Jesus says in Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
So my brothers and sisters, I have counted the cost and am willing to give everything for the cause of Christ – for the Kingdom of God.
I am willing to face the slander, the accusations, the ridicule and whatever else may come in order to hear my Lord and Master say “Well done My good and faithful servant!” on that Great day when I see Jesus face to face.
I am willing to pay any cost that others might come to know Jesus. So that they can be set free and have life to the fullest. For there is no greater honor than to be used of Jesus to draw others to Himself.
Can you say the same?