Think About This: “Radical obedience to Christ is not easy… It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.” ― David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
To be Admired above All Else…
Posted on July 28, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
Anyone can give in to the allure of sex, power, position, and greed. It doesn’t take much strength or courage to allow your appetites to determine your reactions. Like Darwin says, ‘Grandpop was an animal’; so why do we get upset when we act like animals? Isn’t ‘taking what we want regardless of who gets hurt’ just who we are? Aren’t those who live like this the ones to be worshiped and admired?
Worship is not just an event or singing a song with hands raised; No, ‘Worship is our response to what we value most.’ And it is easy to determine what that is in our lives by just following the trail of our time, affection, energy, money, and loyalty. (Hughes)
It is usually at this point most people get defensive about ‘their worship’ because to go down this trail exposes how self-interested we are. Traveling this path forces us to either continue on in our egotism, regardless who gets hurt; or… renew our thinking by discerning what is true and right. To renew our thinking takes strength and courage. It also takes the willingness to admit I am wrong and make a change. This too requires strength and courage… most likely strength and courage I don’t have. Thank God that Jesus is right there at the point of our repentance to lift us up and pour into us His own Spirit… the very One who provided Him the strength and courage to face the cross and who raised Him from the grave. In turning to Jesus for help, we are choosing ‘The Way’ out of darkness and moving into the light of ‘The Truth’, that shows us ‘The Life’ God always intended us to have. This requires us to, “not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]” (Rom 12:2). It is the one who willing steps out of the crowd driven by their appetites and grabs hold of Jesus’ hand that is to be admired! It is those like “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. BUT….even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods of sex, power, position, and greed; nor will we worship the image of gold you have set up'” (Daniel 3:16-18). Sure the king was furious he wasn’t being worshiped and he threw them into the furnace, BUT… they did not stand there alone! Jesus met them in the fire and sustained them, just as he has promised ‘all’ who put their trust in Him.
Whether I live or I die it makes no difference, for to be absent in the body is to be present with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is Him that I long to value most, giving all worship due Him. I pray it be your hearts ‘appetite’ as well.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
Praying you choose Jesus today
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. “ Hebrews 4:16