Well, Jesus calls me in Matthew 16 to "come after Him". It's a passage that we are all familiar with but am I living it out? Oh dear here we are again at that focus war. Am I focused daily on seeking Jesus? Then Jesus tells me to "take up my cross and follow Him". Hum, that would definitely look different for each of us. For me it would indeed mean to open my hands and let go of my precious Children, Grandchildren and dear friends, to leave this country, the comforts of home, easy access to so many different kinds of food, hot showers, a bathtub etc.
But, it gets even better. Jesus tells me that if I continue to focus and live the way this world wants me to live, focused on "collecting stuff", living in comfort, having everything I could possibly want, "I will indeed loose it all in the end". All of those things that I could spend my life working so hard to get and collect will not matter one whit in eternity! Jesus says, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?"
My heart was so sad today as I realized how easily Americans are deceived (myself included) into believing the things of this world are the most important. It's so much easier here in the good old USA to focus on earthly things, to let the things of this earth enthrall our hearts and pull our hearts away from the One who deserves total surrender and adoration. It happens so quickly and before I know it I am focused on building our own little empire here in the States, doing what I want to do with my life and collecting "stuff".
And yet, God reminded me that I should "deny myself". And then my imagination took off and I began to dream and wonder what would happen if each one of us made a commitment to limit our spending on "stuff, including Christmas stuff". My heart was drawn this morning to some dear Pastor friends of mine who are raising support to plant churches right here in our own country. All are struggling to raise support right now in our economy. All three are so committed to sharing the gospel with Americans that each one of them are willfully giving up "stuff" in order to be able to answer God's call to share the gospel. One is planting a church in North Carolina, one in Texas and one in Utah. Then I thought about the Reformed University Fellowship minister's that are making such a difference in the next generation; many of them right here in our own state that are working under funded.
Jesus is calling us to fight the ways of our country, to ask ourselves what are we doing with our lives and our resources (which He has given to us), to refocus and to "lose our life for His sake".