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Gale
Member



Joined: 2007/4/22
Posts: 5


 Help....following Christ...

In Luke 9:23, it says, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will loose it, but whoever looses his life for my sake will save it....and if we look in the gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke , we will see Jesus calling the disciples to come and follow him, and it says that they left ALL (careers,relatives, family, hometowns, etc..), to follow Him.....does this literally mean that we are to do the same. Enlighten my understanding please.????????
Thanks,
Dying to live for Him, Gale

 2007/4/26 13:03Profile









 Re: Help....following Christ...

You'll notice that Jesus told 12 men specifically (13 if you include Paul) to follow Him in a "literal" sense. He didnt ask everyone to leave family, careers, etc... and follow Him all around. He had a specific mission in mind for those men. He wanted everyone else to be [i]willing[/i] to literally leave it all.

Does He still call some men to leave it all behind and serve Him? Of course He does. But He also calls people to minister where they are. Thats why He and the Apostles taught practical Christian living to the masses. Why? So they could effect the sphere that they live in.

There is nothing sinful about having a career, so long as you use it as your mission field, and the light of Christ shines forth in your dealings with people.

This is both a literal call and a spirtual call. To some they literally leave it all behind, and to others they leave the things of this world spiritually and follow Him. If you're a crooked car dealer, get your life right with God and be a godly car dealer. Leave the ways behind and follow Him.

Most of all, however, He wants our hearts to be willing to literally leave it all behind if He asks us to. Kinda like my wife wants to know that I would die defending her. She doesn't want me to die literally... she just wants to know that in my heart I would if need be because I love her that much.

Does that make sense?

Christ wants to be first in our lives.

Krispy

 2007/4/26 13:20









 Re:

Krispy-

Good reply. To add though, how do we know that we are willing to leave it all behind? It is far to easy to fool ourselves. We need to examine ourselves, if we are truly willing to give it up our lives will reflect that now in that we will live a modest lifestyle and not indulge in the things of this world.

Again, I said we need to examine OURSELVES, not each other as to if we are living in self denial.

here is a great (short) 30 minute sermon that I highly recommend

[url=http://www.thesearchforbiblicaltruth.org/david_kirkwood2.mp3]David Kirkwood - I was a Propserity Preacher[/url]

 2007/4/26 14:12
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re: Help....following Christ...

Dear Gale,

Quote:
does this literally mean that we are to do the same.



Yes, if that is how Christ is leading you. He is our Lord and we follow Him. So, we should seek His leading in every area of our life.

Indeed, we should surrender all to Christ. However, giving up everything to Christ doesn't mean quitting your job and selling everything you own. This is a spiritual process that happens internally, and as God works in, around, and through you, He works it externally. In this way, your actions are a result of Christ working through you rather than you working through you. (Read John 15 for further understanding). This is important.

When we surrender everything to Jesus, it means that we surrender all. To follow Jesus entirely means that we do not follow anything or anyone else. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. We must be completely devoted to Christ as our Lord and Savior. We do this as an act of love just as Jesus gave His life for us on the cross out of love.

Let us break down the above scripture for further understanding.

If anyone desires to come after Me

Jesus wants willing worshipers. He doesn't want anyone to follow Him out of force. This first portion is an invitation to His followers, those who desire to follow Him. The question is: Do you desire to follow Jesus? Do you wish to come after Him? If the answer is yes, then lets read on.

let him deny himself

We should deny ourselves, that is our fleshly desire for ourselves. This is speaking of our sinful nature. When we fell from God, our desire was set on other things. Our nature through out was corrupted. We should deny this nature and seek after Christ. Paul later speaks of this in the book of Romans (chap 7) as the flesh.

take up his cross

Our flesh needs to be crucified. The sinful nature within us needs to be crucified on the cross with Christ. Jesus died on the cross for sin. Likewise, we need to surrender our sin to Jesus so that He might crucify it on the cross. We should not struggle with sin. We should not try to be righteous by our own power or works. Instead, we should continually surrender to Christ who can defeat sin on the cross. In this way, we do not fight sin or struggle with sin.

and follow me.

This clearly indicates the acceptance of Christ as Lord. Follow Jesus. Do not seek our own way, but seek after Christ. Jesus can transform us and change us. He can continually make us new. Our focus and attention should be set on Christ so that He can work in us. By this, Jesus Christ has complete reign and control over us.

This is important. When Christ rules over us, then we produce fruit. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. This means we draw the source of our life, our being, and our existence from Him. When we do this, then we will produce good fruit.

Do not work for God, but let Christ work in, around, and through you. This means you surrender to Him so that He can control you. When Christ controls you, then you will naturally produce good fruit and do the will of God.

For whoever desires to save his life will loose it, but whoever looses his life for my sake will save it.

Are you willing to give up everything to the Lordship of Christ and follow Him at every turn? The key word here is willing. You must be ready and willing.

This means that we obey Christ completely and do as He lead us to do. For example, let's take your job. Let's say tomorrow morning you awake and give your job to Jesus. You say, "Dear Lord, I surrender this to you so that you might have complete reign and control over my life." Once you have given it up to God, then you do not worry about it. You simply live and obey.

After your prayer, you would then goto work as usual. You would not worry about your job. You would simply think about Jesus and let the Spirit control you. Now, if Jesus wants you to stay at that job, then He will use you there. If Jesus wants you to quit, He will tell you plainly and open a new opportunity. Either way, you have sacrificed your job to Christ and you are following Him. As such, you will have an internal peace knowing that you are sacrificed to Christ.

When the disciples left careers, relatives, family, hometowns, etc., they were called by Christ. Jesus had given them explicit instructions. Likewise, we should be ready and willing to follow Christ where ever He should lead us. This means, if Christ calls you tomorrow to leave everything and goto China, then be ready to obey. Otherwise, remain where you are knowing God has put you there and will keep you there.

I hope this helps,
In love,
Blake


_________________
Blake Kidney

 2007/4/26 14:52Profile
Gale
Member



Joined: 2007/4/22
Posts: 5


 Re:

Thanks Blake, that sure did break it down and did help me to understand.
Godspeed to you brother!!!

 2007/4/26 17:46Profile
Gale
Member



Joined: 2007/4/22
Posts: 5


 Re:

Thanks Crispy, you have added to my understanding.
Godspeed brother!
Gale

 2007/4/26 17:50Profile
Gale
Member



Joined: 2007/4/22
Posts: 5


 Re:

Thanks Crispy, you have added to my understanding of this passage.
Godspeed brother!!
Gale

 2007/4/26 17:51Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re: Help....following Christ...

I think this story will shed some light on the question:

Mark 5

1They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. 6And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7And crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me." 8For he was saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many." 10And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12and they begged him, saying, "Send us to the pigs; let us enter them." 13So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea.



14The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19And he did not permit him but said to him, "Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/4/26 17:55Profile
Gale
Member



Joined: 2007/4/22
Posts: 5


 Re:

Thanks Nile, this too has added to my understanding!
Nothing like the living word!!!
Godspeed to you!!
Gale

 2007/4/26 18:13Profile
UniqueWebRev
Member



Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re:

Quote:

KrispyKrittr wrote:
You'll notice that Jesus told 12 men specifically (13 if you include Paul) to follow Him in a "literal" sense. He didnt ask everyone to leave family, careers, etc... and follow Him all around. He had a specific mission in mind for those men. He wanted everyone else to be [i]willing[/i] to literally leave it all....Most of all, however, He wants our hearts to be willing to literally leave it all behind if He asks us to. Kinda like my wife wants to know that I would die defending her. She doesn't want me to die literally... she just wants to know that in my heart I would if need be because I love her that much.

Does that make sense?

Christ wants to be first in our lives.

Krispy




Ohhh, very nicely put! Settles a fine point I've occasionally wondered about, but never looked at in this specific context!

Well Done! (crackle, crackle)

Blessings,

Forrest


_________________
Forrest Anderson

 2007/4/27 5:25Profile





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