Forging Ahead In Trustful Hope – Day 25

April 2, 2011

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”

Oswald Chambers

The multitude loved what they received from Jesus.   They would sit on the hillside for long periods of time, not considering what they would eat or drink just because of what they would receive from being in His presence.  Jesus ministered to them life, forgiveness, strength, hope, and truth.  It wasn’t just empty talk it brought forth evidence in the lives of the people.  They were healed, they were provided for and they were blessed.

But Jesus knew that many were following Him for what He could do for them.

They had not grasped that following Him around, listening or receiving from Him did not mean they were living for Him. So, after a season of demonstrating to the people the love and life of God, He then challenged them to make a FAITH decision, and not just have feelings of FAITH.

25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:25-27

Faith is more than a feeling; faith is a commitment – It means to place ones’ trust in someone or something.  It is a pledge made that obligates oneself to a deliberate course of action.

You and I cannot have the kind of Faith that impacts the world, without making a commitment to the Author and finisher of Faith.  When Jesus said “follow Him,” He meant that we would have to make a deliberate decision to commit to Him supremely.  Our commitment to Him needed to be greater than our commitment to our earthly connections and to the demands of our flesh or soul.

As a matter of fact this bond of commitment needs to be so great that the love we have for others would pale in comparison to the love and commitment we have towards Jesus.  He knew it would be a hard decision, so He made it clear; He said we would have to bear your Cross to follow Him.  You would have to endure the death of anything that would compete with your ability to commit to the course of action of loving Him first and most.

As we are Forging Ahead In Trustful Hope, remember that receiving from Jesus and following Jesus are two different things.  People of faith understand that no one develops mountain moving faith, without first obligating oneself to a deliberate course of action.  Jesus’ love for us was total and complete.  It committed Him to a course of action that required the Cross.  Should we expect to do less?

 


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