Jesus followers are willing to deny themselves and say, “I choose Jesus. I choose Jesus over my family. I choose Jesus over money. I choose Jesus over career goals. I choose Jesus over getting drunk. I choose Jesus over looking at porn. I choose Jesus over a redecorated house. I choose Jesus over my freedom. I choose Jesus over what other people think of me.” (Kyle Idleman Not a Fan.)
Following Jesus and truly experiencing His Kingdom here on earth doesn’t come naturally or easily. It’s not comfortable and means dying to self. “It’ll ruin everything!--all our plans, all our assumptions, all our comfort.” - Monica Brands
God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it. Matthew 13:44-46 (MSG)
Heavenly Father, these words are powerful and true. May I choose Your Son and His way instead of my own way. Daily, moment by moment, I need You. All of us ‘Jesus followers’ are being transformed from the inside out in ways that are supernatural. Even when we fall (and we do often in this life), You pick us up and put us on Your path again. Amen.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)