AM I REALLY FOLLOWING JESUS?

If this was the last time I could communicate with you, what would I want to say? That is what has been on my mind. It’s another way of saying, “What’s most important, or most on my heart?” I tried to narrow it down to the one most important thing, but am not succeeding. So, what would I say? Here’s what came to me, in no particular order.

GOD, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER, LOVES YOU! He wants you to be part of His family and to live in His Kingdom. Most people believe God loves them. Most seem to believe that we are all God’s children, therefore in His family. But this is not what God says in His Word. He does love everyone. But we are all sinners and that has condemned us and separated us from Him forever, which is eternal death. That’s why Jesus came to earth and died on the cross and was raised to life. To pay for our sin and to open the door. But we must each come to recognize our sin and guilt and turn to God in repentance and faith in Jesus and what He has done for us. That is the way into the family, the open door. Then the rest of our lives is learning to live in the family, getting to know our Heavenly Father, walking in fellowship with Him and being followers, disciples, of Jesus the Messiah. That’s about as brief as I can make it. This is all a free gift from God and I cannot deserve it or earn it. I can only reach out and receive it as a free gift from Him. This is all in the New Testament. Read it and see for yourself.

After 38 years of being in the Family of God and taking my Father seriously, I still barely know Him. But this I have learned some of: He loves me beyond my imagination and has only my best interest and highest good in His heart. He will use whatever difficulty and trial that come into my life (and even my own foolish or sinful choices) FOR GOOD if I bring them and myself to Him and trust Him.

His way is always right and best, even when the result doesn’t seem to be what I hoped for or expected.

I am not wise or very loving, but He is all wisdom and love.

I will not understand a lot, but I can trust Him because He is completely trustworthy. And when my trust runs low I can go to Him with even that and talk with Him about it. I can even tell my Father when I am angry WITH HIM! He is big enough to handle it, and when I get honest with Him, He can then begin His healing work in me.

He will discipline me when I need it. and it is always for my good and advancement in Christlike character.

The greatest expression of love is FORGIVENESS. That is what Jesus was doing on the cross. His death on the cross was/is the provision of His forgiveness for us, and is the greatest expression of love ever in the universe.

And to truly forgive others from the heart is the MOST CHRISTLIKE thing we can do. This the most important thing Jesus has for us to learn, because it is the healing for relationships. We say it’s not religion, it’s relationship. That’s true. But multitudes of believers go around with unforgiveness in their hearts, which leads to bitterness, a poison which destroys more relationships. It’s not just relationship with our Heavenly Father but with others. This is what God is after. He tells us in His Word that the way we love others is the way we love Him. How convicting. I really don’t love God any more than I love the very least of others. We’ve got to quit lying to ourselves and get a grip on this. And some say, “I forgive him/her but I just can’t have anything to do with them, and so cut them off and any possibility of reconciliation. Reconciliation is what God was doing in Jesus. Forgiveness is the doorway to a renewed relationship. And that is exactly what our Father has for us to do towards others. Some won’t reconcile with us, but we must always forgive and take the initiative and make the first and repeated moves toward reconciliation. Nothing else is love or God’s way. Read the Word and see! Many want to focus on great times of worship but do not forgive or reconcile. Jesus said that if we have a relationship issue we need to leave our act of worship and first be reconciled with our brother. We need to make every effort we can on our part. READ THE WORD AND SEE. This is probably the greatest hypocrisy amongst believers.

I need not bother trying to gain God’s acceptance or approval. I already have it all in Jesus. But I must always be learning how to do things His way.

In Jesus ALL SINS ARE FORGIVEN, past, present and future. But this does not mean that now “anything goes.” Sin will not cast me out of His family, but it is still very destructive to others and myself. The purpose of my freedom is that I now have free and open access to my Heavenly Father for help and fellowship which results in me being transformed.

When a Christian sins, he should be experiencing conviction by the Holy Spirit and if unrepentant, discipline by his Father. If you can just keep continuing on in some sinful practice and don’t experience these, then you have good reason to check yourself out and see if you are really born again. I have sinned both small and gigantic sins since being God’s child, and He has never let me get by with it. There is always conviction. And if I don’t turn to my Father with it to confess my wrong and my need of His help and continue on, sooner or later there comes discipline. And that’s in the Word, too.

The only law the Christian has is what the Word calls, “the royal law of love.” Love fulfills all the others. They do not come close to living up to love. Only in the Word do we come to appreciate and understand what God’s kind of love is and how it works and that we can’t do it on our own. It is not romance or sex or the weak and sappy sentimentality promoted by the world and by Christians who don’t really know God’s way from His Word. Agape love is strong, disciplined, self-sacrificing, always focused on the best and highest for another’s benefit. This is how our Heavenly Father loves us and is the way He has for us to love others. I can only do this as I come to the Lord, take up my cross daily (which is not trials and tribulations, but is the death of myself to myself) and follow Him.

I know this may sound tough, but it is our Father’s way, and He lovingly, patiently, graciously works with us and in us to accomplish these things, this conformance “to the image of Christ.” In the gospels, it was at a time not unlike this that many quit following Jesus. It is may hope and prayer that you hear from your Savior and continue following Him.

-Pilgrim 41144 7-18-2010

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Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You did it again:

    “The greatest expression of love is FORGIVENESS”

    That quote hit me right between the eyes of the deceit that I truly love others and how forgiveness is very much tied into that.

    This is a beautiful letter to us-your brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are yet to be.

    Sister Chantelle


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