Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. Hebrews 4:1
When there is difficulties or troubles in the way of a person trying to accomplish something, many people will give up and move on to something else. Most people are unwilling to keep pushing forward to finish the desired task.
As a person quits something, he may never know how close he actually was to finishing correctly. Those who succeed, keep pushing forward, focused on completing the task.
After warning about unbelief, the author now points out that God’s promise for rest is still standing unfulfilled, waiting to be fulfilled. He warns that none be found short of getting into God’s rest—heaven.
The longer a journey is the more challenges or difficulties one will encounter along the way. As the journey continues, the cost of keeping going will continually rise, making it a challenge to stay focused and keep going to finish it.
With today’s GPS systems, people will know exactly how far they still have to go, but with the walk of life, no one knows exactly when one will die and stand before God.
Jesus set the requirement to get into heaven at believing in and following Him. He paid the price for every person to get into heaven, God’s promised rest.
While many people have chosen to believe in Jesus, not as many have chosen to follow Him or chose to stop following Him. Sadly many have chosen to stop following Jesus because of some trouble in their lives. Instead of living for God, they have chosen to live purposefully in sin against God, even while going to church.
Every believer needs to work at continuing to follow and grow in his relationship and walk with God every day and be ready to stand before God.
Jesus has forgiven you of your sins and promised you eternal life in heaven if you believe in and follow Jesus. He has made a way for you, but you must choose to walk in it.
God is not a tyrant, but will allow you to choose whether to follow or not. If you choose to follow, God will provide all you need to complete the journey. Use what God has given you to live for Him and don’t find yourself falling short at the end of the journey.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will choose to obey and follow Jesus in every area of your life; that you will trust Jesus for your salvation; that God will see you as a faithful servant; and that you will not fall short of God’s rest.
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33
One of the freedoms given in America is the ability to seek one’s own wealth. With that freedom, most people are seeking or at least desiring to be wealthy. They are focused on how much they have and can get.
There is never enough. In the process of trying to get all these things and wealth, many will give up a lot of things. Some understand that one must give up something now to get something greater later.
Jesus gave some parables about how some try to build something, but did not consider the cost. He then tells the people that they must be willing to give up everything to be His disciple.
One thing that is claimed a lot is that one just needs to repent and believe in Jesus to be saved. While this is true for salvation, this is not the only requirement to be a follower or disciple of Jesus.
In order to be a true disciple of Jesus, one has to give up everything.
This is not necessarily throwing everything else out, but it is putting Jesus first above everything else. It is trusting Jesus with everything that one has and trusting Jesus for what He will give.
Often someone becomes a believer and continues to hold on to some sin or something that gets between him and God. God is to be on the throne of one’s heart. There is no room for anything else. If there is anything else on that throne, one is not a full, true disciple of Jesus, he is lost.
As one gives up everything for Jesus, God will fill those losses with greater things that will last for eternity.
You must ask yourself how much of a disciple of Jesus you are. Examine your life and see if there is anything in it that you are allowing to get between you and God. Those things, regardless of what they are, must go.
When Jesus is anything less than your everything, He is nothing to you and you will be left with nothing in the end.
Allow Jesus to be on the throne of your heart. Allow Him to be your everything, not just one more thing.
Are you a disciple of Jesus or not?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give up all to be a disciple of Jesus; that you will see God’s hand of provision for all you need in your life; that you will not fear giving up things for God; and that you will follow God with all of your life.
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:27-28
When most people hear the phrase, ‘to follow someone’, they often think about following someone on some social media platform. They want to know what that person is doing as much as possible, but only from a distance.
In following someone on social media, it does not require much effort, and no change in a person’s life. There is only a few clicks involved.
Jesus saw a tax collector, Levi, sitting at his job. Jesus tells him to follow Him. Levi gets up, leaves everything and follows Him.
Following Jesus is often very similar to following someone on social media. People claim to believe in and follow Jesus, but never make any real changes to their lives.
Yes, they go to church, but only to get something out of it, not to build others up. Their bible sits on a shelf, only to be dusted off for a church service. They continue to live in a life of sin. It is rare to never that they tell someone about Jesus.
The question comes up as to whether they are really following Jesus or not. Following Jesus must mean a change. Jesus came to change lives, not just have a social gathering online in word only, but not in real life. He came to save the world, not just get some likes.
In the same way that Matthew got up and left everything behind to follow Jesus, every believer must be willing to do the same. He must allow Jesus to be Lord and Master of his life, in every area of his life.
If you have chosen to follow Jesus, ask yourself how are you following Jesus. Are you following Jesus just like following someone on a social media platform? Or are you leaving everything behind and giving it your all to follow Him?
God has great things in store for your life, but you must be willing to trust Him and follow Jesus with everything in you. Do not hold anything back from God, but give Him it all. Jesus is ready to build you and use you in great ways, when you allow Him to do so.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow Jesus with all of your life; that you will allow God to change your life; and that you will be willing to leave everything to follow and obey Jesus.
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Matthew 24:9
Very few people actually like to be hated. They will do whatever they can to keep from being hated. It is for this reason that many people fall for peer pressure to do something that they normally would never do.
A few people will do what is right, regardless of who likes it or not. During the process of doing right, many hate it and come against the person, both socially and physically.
As Jesus was talking about the end times, He promised that they would be persecuted, killed and hated because of Him.
Often when believers are talking about their life as a believer, they do not talk about persecution or being hated. The talk is about God’s love, mercy and forgiveness. While these things are good and true, Jesus also promised persecution, death and hatred.
The majority of the world does not like a strong, true believer because he is for Jesus, who is against their ways of living. A standard of living is higher than the world desires to be and the world hates it.
If someone claims to be a believer, and no one that is not a believer does not like him, there is a question of who or what he is following. Jesus was hated, persecuted and killed. His followers are to be just like Him.
Instead of backing down and being quiet, timid little believers, every believer must be bold in their faith and witnessing as they follow Jesus. There was power promised to those who walk in faith in Jesus. The world will hate that power and will fight back, but the end result is eternal life for the believer.
Ask yourself who hates you and why they hate you. If the world is not angry with your walk with God, then check yourself to see if you are really following and being like Jesus or not.
The world hated Jesus and will hate His followers. The world will do what it can to stop you from following Jesus the more closer to Him you get.
Do not give up under the pressure of hatred, persecution and threat of death. Be like Jesus and go all the way. Go for the goal of eternal life.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that the world will know you believe in and follow Jesus; that God will give you strength to endure hatred and persecution; and that God will draw more people to Jesus through your testimony.