This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. Hebrews 8:10
Laws are something that people cannot really live without. Every nation has many laws put in place to govern the people. While many people will follow most of the laws without any problem, there are some laws that many people hate to follow.
It is the same in a household. Parents put into place many different types of laws (rules) for children to follow. Some children will follow the rules, while some will fight against obeying those rules.
During the time of Moses, God put out some laws for the people to follow. As one reads through the history of Israel, the people had a difficult time following those rules. They knew about the laws, but chose not to follow them.
The main reason people do not follow the laws and rules are because the laws are not really upon their hearts. The law is only in their mind. It is only a set of regulations and may go against their own personal desires.
Long before Jesus came, Jeremiah prophesied that God would place His Law upon the hearts and minds of His people. His Law would become a part of the person’s heart’s desire. It will no longer be a requirement to follow, but a desire to follow. It is as though the person wrote the law himself and so desires to obey that law.
Even in human laws, when a person loves the law or rule, he is ready and willing to obey it with no complaint. He wants to obey because he loves it.
You may have struggles trying to follow some commands God has put in place, such as to love your enemy. Allow God’s commands and laws to penetrate your heart. Learn to love God’s commands to know God has them only for your well-being. The law is not there to hold you down or harm you, but to build you up.
As you learn to love the law, you will be able to follow it with no complaints or struggles. It becomes a desire to obey and please God, not just a command or demand.
Follow God’s laws out of love, not force.
I pray today that you will know the commands of God; that you will have God’s commands on your heart; that you will love to obey God; and that you will see God is set to help you be your best for Him and others.
“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Luke 14:33
Most people love to have other people with them. They like to know that they are loved and cared for by someone else. Along with that, every person loves to have things also. There are very few people who do not like to have things and do not want people in their lives.
The difference in many people is what part do those things and other people play in their lives.
With things, it is very easy to see how important they are to some people. A person who loves his new car, often is outside washing and polishing it nearly every day. Or the person at his job is willing to always do extra work, work extreme long hours and fights for the top position. Most believers have no problem seeing that as idol worship and a bad thing.
One dangerous area Jesus brought up is with people. Many people really love their families–their spouses and their children. They would be willing to do anything for them.
Yes, God wants you to love your family. Yes, you are to take care of your family. However, God does not want you to put your family before Him.
If there is a difference between your family and God, you must choose God’s way first. Seek God first in everything you do. Don’t go, first, to your family.
When you seek God, make sure you are hearing God. He will have you do things that sometimes your family does not like. However, often He will change the hearts of your family and draw them into His will. If you are leading your family towards God each and everyday, they will learn to see God’s desires and be willing to follow them.
God needs to be the first and most important One in your life. Family should be second. Other people third. You, yourself, should be last in your life. This is loving God first, and others second as the Law stated and Jesus repeated.
Are you willing to give up everything and everyone in order to follow God? If not, Jesus said don’t even try, you cannot be His disciple.
I pray today that God will give you the strength to follow Him; that you will consider the cost of following Jesus; that God will help you know when to give up things and people to follow Him; that God will draw others closer to Him through you; and that God will build His kingdom through you.
“As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus at the tax collector’s booth, “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.” Mark 2:14
The ministry of Jesus had begun and many people were starting to follow Him. At different times, Jesus would walk up to someone and directly tell them to follow Him.
This time He went up to someone that everyone hated. This person was a tax collector. Levi was collecting taxes for the Roman government, who were controlling Israel against the desire of the Israelites. Since Levi was an Israelite, many looked at him as a traitor and despised him.
Yet, Jesus still called Levi to follow Him. Jesus looked at Levi in the same way as He looks at every person–they are sinner needing to be saved by Him.
Today, people often look at someone and state that, that person would never follow Jesus. They never give that person a chance to follow Jesus.
You need to offer the opportunity to follow Jesus to everyone you meet. Don’t just offer Jesus to those who look good or sound good. Pass Jesus on to every person.
Along with calling people to follow Him, notice that His calling people was not a request, it was a command. Jesus walked up to Levi and stated a command to follow Him. It was not left up for discussion or argument.
Jesus knows what is best for every person. This includes you.
When you offer Jesus to people, you must present it as a need that they cannot do without. Look at how a car salesman sells a car. He presents it in a way of a command that you need that car and cannot live without it.
Believers are to persuade people to follow Jesus, not just present Jesus. Every person needs Jesus desperately, even though they may not know it.
Do not be afraid to present Jesus to everyone you meet in a method that shows the desperate need they have.
Along with presenting Jesus, be willing to follow Jesus completely yourself. The same command given to Levi was given to you–follow Him. Are you fully following Jesus? Have you given Him your whole life? Follow Jesus today, it will be worth it.
I pray today that you will follow Jesus with your whole life; that Jesus will reveal more of Himself to you; that you will be willing to present Jesus as a need to everyone you meet; and that God will build His kingdom through you.