This is going to come across as angry. It is. This is going to come across as preachy. It is. Too many Christians want to have it all while having Christ. They make concessions to the world, they seek after the world, they chase after all of its treasures, but show up to church once or twice a week and expect them to be all good with Jesus. I’m not approaching this as someone who has it all together: God is working things out of me still, but I’m trying to seek Him with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. There is a big difference between seeking God and seeking yourself.
Imagine it this way. If you’re married, but tell your spouse that you’re going to give them Sundays for maybe an hour, sometimes more if there is food, Wednesdays, and Possibly Sunday Nights if there’s no sporting events. You’ll call your spouse if you need something, and maybe give them a call before you go to bed. During the rest of the time, I get to run around with whomever I want, and act as if I’m not married at all. Would that relationship work at all? Absolutely not! And this is why God commanded (in Deuteronomy 6:4) and Jesus reiterated that we love Him with ALL of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. As a spouse should not run around on his or her marriage partner, neither should we play such games with God.
What if, then, we made everything about Christ? What if we gave Him every breath, every second of every day. Our Families, work, social engagements, entertainment, trials, tribulations, everything belongs to Him. How would your life be different? Sure, He would remove the things that are dragging you down like dead weight, but what a trade off! He would, in return, give you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control that transcends all circumstances and understanding. His Holy Spirit would reign throughout your life, you would depend on Him completely in all of it, and you would grow closer to Him moment by moment and in all circumstances. This is what we aim for. This is what it means to fix our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith. It’s time to stop playing games and focus on Jesus, who alone is worthy to rule our lives.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.