What does being a Christian really mean?
What does it mean to be a true follower of Christ Jesus?
It’s as simple and as difficult and it’s as beautiful and as crucifying as…..
loving ‘The Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.’ Luke 10:27
Friends it’s so simple and yet so hard, in fact it’s totally impossible in our own strength.
Only the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts will produce a love that can love like that because in our sinful nature there is nothing that desires God.
‘Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ Rom 8:7-8
Friends this is why it is impossible in ourselves to truly follow Christ.
By nature we are selfish, stubborn, independent creatures wanting nothing of the Lord, His ways and His glory, instead we want what is pleasant and easy for us not knowing, until our eyes are opened, that this is the way of darkness, death and destruction.
But when the Lord truly works in our hearts our desires change and we begin to seek the way of life, love liberty and peace. The beautiful but crucifying way.
To truly follow Christ we must continually be stripped of self, our flesh MUST be crucified that we might walk in newness of life.
‘Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.’ Rom 6:6
‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.’ Rom 6:12
It is that dying to self that Christ might live in and through us. It’s becoming a living sacrifice unto our God.
‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ Rom 12:1-2
Friends, it is that giving of ourselves wholly unto God that He may work that transforming work within us and renew our minds that we might live for Him and Him alone.
‘Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.’ Rom 6:4
Friends, don’t TRY to follow Christ and DO what’s right in your own strength because you WILL fail time and time again and get disheartened.
Lean upon God for everything…
‘for without me ye can do nothing.’ John 15:5
‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ John 15:4
This way is so hard to the flesh but O, how precious the peace that comes when we walk in the Lord’s will and ways, when we live for His glory and not for ourselves.
When we go through the day, not in our own strength but in the strength of the Lord.
When we walk through the day leaning upon our Beloved.
Friends, let’s be seeking for the Holy Spirit to help us so that we may be true followers of Christ Jesus.