by Frederick Hoehn, copyright 2013. |
This article title is based on a scripture. "He that finds his life shall lose it, and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it." (Matt 10:39)
And who is speaking there? Jesus.
Jesus gives us an important principle here that many people are totally unaware of.
Sometimes we speak of certain computer apps (programs) as being "very intuitive," meaning that they work very much as one would expect.
But this statement from Jesus seems somewhat counter intuitive.
It almost sounds like he's saying, "If you want success, don't pursue it." But that's not an accurate characterization. What Jesus is getting at is our priorities.
Another passage of scripture on the same subject is Matt chapter 6, verses 25 Therefore I say to you, don't be worrying about your life, what you'll eat, or what you'll drink, nor for your body, what you'll put on. Isn't the life more important than food, and the body than clothes? 26 Look at birds of the air, for they don't plant, nor do they harvest, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you much better than they are? 27 Which of you can, by thinking, add eighteen inches to his height? 28 And why do you take thought for clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they don't toil, nor do they spin, 29 And yet I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 So, if God clothes the grass of the field, that exists today, and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won't he much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore don't think, What will we eat? Or, What will we drink? Or, with what shall we be clothed? 32 (Because the Gentiles seek for all those things,) for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore, don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is its own evil."
Verse 33, above, is the key. It's about priorities. You put the kingdom of God and his righteousness first, and the other things will come to you.
The Ten Commandments are given in Exodus chapter 20. Verse 5 tells us that God is a jealous God, meaning that he doesn't want to play second fiddle in your life, or third fiddle.
Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matt 22:37)
So, if God sees that your graduate studies are more important to you than God, he doesn't like it.
If he sees that your hobby is more important to you than God is, he doesn't like it.
If he sees that making money is more important to you, he doesn't like it, because you're not putting God first.
In Matthew chapter 10, verses 37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that doesn't take his cross, and follow after me, is not worthy of me.
So Jesus here is talking about priorities. If we're going to follow Jesus, we must make Jesus number one in our lives.
And if we do, he'll help us with the rest of it.
Someone might say, "If that's the price of being a Christian, perhaps I don't need to be a Christian."
That's dangerous talk. When you leave this world, you'll either go up to heaven, or down to hell, and we all need Jesus to get us to heaven.
Don't casually dismiss being a Christian. Everyone who goes to hell won't like it. In hell, there's crying and gnashing of teeth, where their worms don't die, and where the fire is not quenched, Jesus said.
I knew a man in Nebraska who said he tries to watch what he does so that he doesn't anger God. But that same man watches porn, and shares his porn with another person.
You're not straight with God if you do that because Jesus said, "He that looks at a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt 5:28)
We can't just make up our own rules, and have God rubber stamp his approval. God has given us rules to follow. ("And his commandments are not grievous." 1 John 5:3)
Jesus said, "And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and don't do the things that I say?" (Luke 6:46)
It's no use calling Jesus Lord, if we're not going to do what he has said. And to do what he's said, we need to know what he said, and you get that from the Bible.
Every Christian should be getting some of the Word every day.
An older Christian brother, Bill Severn, advised me to read at least a chapter a day in the Bible when I was a young man. I believe that was good advice, and I've tried to do that.
A Christian must not only get the word of God every day, but must do some praying every day. In fact, 1 Thess 5:17 tells us, "Pray without stopping."
Jesus said, "Men ought always to pray and not faint." (Luke 18:1)
You're probably aware that the Lord wants his people to get baptized in water.
But there's also another baptism that will add to you another language to pray in. It's the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. Jesus spoke about that in Acts 1:8. He said it gives us more power.
Jesus had previously said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." But in Acts 1:4, he says first wait to be equipped (with this Baptism with the Holy Ghost.)
The first instance of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost was on the day of Pentecost, about fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead.
___Acts chapter 2 1 And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all in agreement in one place. 2 And suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And they saw split tongues like fire, and it rested on each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to speak.
Kenneth E. Hagin told about a lady in one of his services who wanted to receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, but didn't receive in the service. She thought God would take control of her mouth and make her talk.
No, when Jesus baptizes you with the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost gives you words to speak in a strange language you never learned, and then YOU ADD YOUR VOICE AND SPEAK THOSE WORDS OUT.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we are told that Jesus is the one who baptizes with the Holy Ghost. So if you're a Christian, ask Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
When you pray, believe that you receive the things you ask for, and you shall have them. (Mark 11:24)
In 1 Cor 16:2, we are told to give as God has prospered us. In the Old Testament, a tithe was required. A tithe is ten percent of our income.
In the New Testament is says give as God has prospered you. Ask the Lord to show you where he wants you to put the money.
It was said about R.G. LeTourneau, who made huge earth moving machines, that he started giving to God. Perhaps he was tithing. And God blessed him.
So he increased his percentage of giving to God. And God blessed him more. I heard that he got all the way up to giving 50% of his income to the Lord.
I think there's a big LeTourneau plant in Longview, Texas.
The Bible says we should not forsake the gathering of ourselves together. Ask the Lord where he wants you to go to church.
If there's not a good church near you, perhaps you could start a home church in your area.
The best church will be like Mark 16:17,18. They cast out demons, have divine healing, and speak in unknown tongues. And, of course, preach the word of God.
Scriptures quoted are from the Holy Bible, Hoehn Version and the New Testament, Hoehn Version, copyright 2011, both available as ebooks for the Kindle readers from Amazon.com.
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