[Calvary Chapel]1999-08-14 - What Does it Mean to Follow Jesus?

We have read a lot lately that has changed our thinking about things. Made us question ourselves, our motives, the very reason for calling ourselves Christians. It is odd to read that most of our nation considers itself "Christian". Get stuck in traffic on the freeway and see if you can tell who is or is not a Christian. Or how about when there is an impending snow storm and people race through the isles to get the "last gallon of milk" or "last loaf of bread". What about the Y2K bug, everyone wants to protect themselves, right? I mean just look at the Christian bookshelves. I was wondering how many "Christians" went to Woodstock. What about the "Christians" that go out Friday, tie one on and go to church on Sunday? Lest I be accused of pointing fingers, let's make it easy day to day stuff. When is the last time we took seriously that it is "our" responsibility to raise our kids, not the church, not the school, not the babysitters, not grandma and grandpa but ours. It is our responsibility to train them in the way that they should go. When is the last time we took full responsibility for our actions or lack of them or do we instead find ourselves blaming, the ex-spouse, the current spouse, the stress-filled job, the lack of money, the media, the government...you know the list goes on...for our failure to live like we know we should.

No one said it was going to be easy :) Heard that before? Me too. But it is true. This Sunday I heard as phrase that said "Saved to Serve". Didn't being saved mean you get to hang out with Christians, go to concerts, dress up on Sunday, put your money in the offering plate and smile nicely?

My thinking has no doubt changed. It's my heart I get concerned about. If I had to be honest I would say that during the course of a day, I have to actually remind myself that I am a Christian. I get so wrapped up in all that needs to be done, things that I wish I got done and things that are on the forever "to do" list that I forget to seek God in any decisions, let alone all my decisions. I catch myself saying … "God help me" … and then I wonder if He remembers my voice.

What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul mind and strength? I am not sure. What does it require of me? Everything. Am I willing? Yes, but again the flesh is weak. I am so thankful for His grace and mercy.

Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.

1 Corinthians 2:9-16 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. Amen.

In His Service,
Rick & Sandy