Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. OíConnor
Main Thought: To examine the realization that we all serve something or somebody, why not the One from which all things exist?
Me, a slave?
Don't you know that when you
offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one
whom you obeyĖwhether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to
obedience, which leads to righteousness?
(Whole Chapter: In context: )
So, what are we pursuing today? Is it wealth, health, knowledge, prestige, fame, or is it nothing at all. It seems like there are many choices to pursue in this world. As we walk up to checkout stands in supermarkets weíll notice magazine covers full of people chasing most of these. It seems though that we wonít see many covers showing those who have learned that all of these things do not equal life and have instead given themselves over to poverty. And as unpleasing as it is to look upon those who have given up on chasing after the ambitions of this life, it seems that these have the greatest potential to hearing Christ speak His Life and Love into their hearts. We need to learn that each and every one of us is a slave to something in this life. Whether itís our ego through the accumulation of things or appearance, or to depravity through abandoning ourselves to our own poverty. Even life itself compels us to eat and to stay clear of pain. Unfortunately, many people donít realize that they are slaves to someone or something whether they like it or not and so miss out on the greatest joys of life and that is abandoning ourselves to knowing and loving Godís Son, Jesus Christ.
The freest person is one who realizes their purpose in life and lives it to the fullest. It seems that the door to our heart is our mind. The purpose of a door though is to take us somewhere else. Many people have gotten hung up on the door of knowledge and revelation and canít seem to get past it into the joys of living from the heart and not the head. Faith can go where reasoning can never travel. Not blind faith, but a faith that has listened to Godís Truth and allowed that truth to reach into their innermost being, a faith that has been birthed in the heart and caused a change of being and not just an accumulation of knowledge. It seems that the pride of knowledge is the one thing satan was able to use to get Adam and Eve to sin. Genesis 3:1-6 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Notice verse 5 where he uses the temptation of knowing more and then in verse 6 where she is drawn to give into the temptation because of its physical appearance and the increase of knowledge.
A carnal walk with Christ is one where weíve never allowed our walk to grow into a love relationship with Jesus but instead weíve learned how to appear as one of His through our walk and our talk and not our love. The knowledge of Godís Word was never meant to stay in the doorway of our minds but was to make it all the way down into our hearts where it can transform us into His image. Our pride and selfish ways has made us think that we can obtain something by understanding it. We even carry this thinking into our relationship with God Who is not to be put into a box of our limited minds and understanding. But that doesnít seem to stop us from trying and so weíll grow into some religious know-it-alls who know a lot of scripture but little of Christ. The fire of passion seems to grow through being together. Many of us though would rather hold Him at a distance while we try and cram our heads full of the knowledge of Who He Is and thus white wash our need to know Him with a desire to know about Him. Thus when we can say that weíve kept all of the commandments, we havenít grown any closer to Him than without the head knowledge, only now, weíre handicapped because of own pride. No wonder Christ said we must die before we can live. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) and another verse is For whoever wants to save his life[ 16:25 The Greek word means either life or soul; also in verse 26.] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Whole Chapter: In context: )
We are experts at feeding our pride through the accumulation of things. Why is it that we think that our importance increases with our knowledge or our possessions? Our Lordís feelings on those who will labor for themselves are as follows; Luke 12:16-21†† 16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' 20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." Have you ever given a gift from the depths of your heart only to see the one receiving it look right past you to the gift and miss you entirely? Wow! That really hurts and how it must hurt the heart of our Heavenly Father to be Himself and give to us freely and then see His gifts become our heartís desire and passion and not Him. Oh that God would teach us how to hunger and thirst for Him and not the things of Him. So, instead of realizing that we can be slaves of God which gives way to joy beyond description, we settle for those things that make our pride swell but does little for our character.
Our makeup was made to serve, in fact, it seems that weíre happiest when weíre caring more for the welfare of others than for our own. The greatest servant though is one who has learned to serve through the Love of God. If we give all we have to the poor and have not love than it profits us nothing; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Please note in the preceding scripture reference that itís very possible to have all of the outward actions without the inward relationship with Him. So, you can have a ďGodly acting lifeĒ without knowing Him but you canít have a ďGod loving relationshipĒ and live as though you donít know Him. A simple illustration of this is as follows; you can have a container with no liquid inside but you canít have a volume of liquid with no container in which to hold it. Unfortunately, we as people born with our own prideful and sinful nature find it easier to carry around an empty container to show off to others and only we ourselves know that itís empty.†
Our hearts need to realize thereís a greater existence than what our eyes and minds can comprehend and learn how to live life unto Him from which all life exists so that our actions to others will have eternal significance. The joy of esteeming others more highly than our selves will have its rewards even if we havenít grown to the point to see that our first passion should be to Christ and then from Him outward.† The rings of a bullís eye target take their reference around the bullís eye and not vice versa. Christ may have spoken in parables about many things but there is one thing He didnít, and that is the first and greatest commandment around which all others find their reference. Iíd rather be the poorest person in the world with the knowledge of man, as long as Iím rich with the knowledge of Christ my redeemer Ė knowledge that is relationship from the heart. Iíd rather surrender my life to the One Who emptied Himself out for me than for the one that has rebelled from the One who made him (satan) and would like the whole world forced into serving him.
We all need to decide who we will serve, ourselves and its foul sinful nature, or the One Who emptied Himself out for us because He loves us; Philippians 2:3-8 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. I for one choose to surrender my life my all to the One who emptied Himself out for me. He came the first time as the Lamb of God to empty Himself out that we could see His Heart of Love. The next time he comes He will return as the Lion of Judah to judge those of this world who hardened their hearts within their sin to serve only themselves. To serve the One Who loved the greatest is the greatest joy this life can afford.
Come Quickly King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ our Redeemer!
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