Giving Jesus Our Best
Here we are in a brand new year, the Year of 2018. Have we made plans for this year? Some of us have. We already have things on our new calendar, and we have made our resolutions. How do you plan for the New Year unless you have an idea of what you are doing or where you desire to go? If I am making a trip to California this year, I need to know when I am going; where I am staying; the means of travel; what we will be doing; and costs of the trip. I don’t want to get there and not have the monies to get back home. Jesus explained it like this in Luke 14:27-30 (Amp.), “Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a watchtower [for his guards], does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is unable to finish [the building], all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’…”
Jesus is describing a man that has a desire to build a watchtower. If he does not plan on the costs of the materials and labor, he may start building, but run out of money so that he is unable to finish. There are some things that we can count the costs, but there are some things that we cannot because we do not see the full picture. I believe that Jesus desires for us to pause and look at what it means to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Most of us would be quick to say, “Oh, yes, I desire to be a disciple of Jesus, but do we realize the possible requirements (the costs) for that? The meaning of “disciple” in the Bible is a pupil who submits to processes of learning under a teacher. It means disposed to learn. Jesus said in John 8:31, “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” I trust that we abide in the Word (Jesus Christ) by being doers of the Word (James 1:22). We obey at any cost. The cost may include suffering or even death. Jesus said in John 15:20, “…If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”
We do not fear death because if death should be eminent, then I have the grace (God’s ability) to face whatever comes my way. The issue is will I give my all to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Will I seek Him daily? Will I obey His guidance? That may sound difficult to you, and I use to struggle with that, too. If fact, when the church choir sang, “Where He Leads, I’ll Go”, I wouldn’t sing it. I heard missionaries from Africa talking about eating maggots when they sat down at someone’s table. I knew that I couldn’t do that. …But just wonder if the Lord called me to Africa? I was honest with the Lord and said that I couldn’t eat maggots. What I didn’t know was that if the Lord calls me to Africa or to any other place, He will enable me to do whatever He calls me to do. Also, I have learned that I won’t have peace until I obey what the Lord calls me to do. It makes us think of Jonah not wanting to go to Nineveh knowing he was a miserable man until he obeyed.
There is one thing that I know for sure for each of you that call yourself a child of God. The Lord is calling you to submit yourself unto Him. Give Him your everything. In whatever He leads you to do, simply obey. I don’t know what your costs or mine will be, but I do know that Jesus paid the ultimate cost in His obedience to His heavenly Father in life and in His death. Will we give Him our best? Let us seek Him in 2018 and walk in His perfect will.