It was been a wonderful month of December around our
home. The kids are growing soooo fast, and change is
on the horizon.
It is God’s promise of the resurrection that sets us free to love others as we would want to be loved.
True Love is sacrificing of our life
and comforts for the benefit of others.
The world witnessed this love when Jesus suffered to bring us truth and willingly sacrificed his own life on the cross, so that we can be free from guilt and condemnation.
The Scriptures say: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
We are tempted to fear loving the way Jesus commands us to, because it will cost us dearly. However, the promise of a resurrection and of an inheritance in heaven leads us to overcome this fear and embrace hope.
THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION IS THIS:
Your soul will never cease to exist, and every person will be physically raised from the dead to stand before God at the Final judgment.
The Scriptures say: “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
Realizing that our lives are short allows us to look beyond this life and consider eternity. It is wise to sacrifice the life you cannot keep to receive a life that you cannot lose.
The Scriptures say: And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?
To receive the promises of Jesus, you must love others as Jesus has loved you. To be free to love others in this way, you must have faith in Jesus’ promises, and place your hope in the resurrection.
What can I say? I believe Jesus.
Don't think for a second that I enjoy the scorn and revulsion that often comes from preaching the Gospel. I don't, I really don't. But, in my estimation it is worth enduring, so that others can be saved. I believe that this is love.
Personally, I would like to pursue a quiet life in the country, a few acres, a nice house, a garden, maybe have a boat, and build a nice savings for a comfortable retirement. Shoot, I have a pretty nice job and it is very tempting to pursue these things.
But, because I believe Jesus, I also believe in the Judgment, and in the Resurrection. This changes everything.
Jesus the author of my faith; for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, not caring about the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Following Jesus is NOT something that makes your time on earth more comfortable. Don't misunderstand, following the Lord brings many wonderful blessings, but the path always leads to the cross. This means we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others, knowing that our reward is at the resurrection.
The hope of the resurrection and the promise of eternal rest in Jesus' kingdom give me the freedom to love others and my own expense.
Now is the time for work and sacrifice, later comes the rest and reward.This is why Jesus says to count the cost before following him. It requires faith to make the sacrifice.
So, am I crazy?
Well, if the Judgment and Resurrection are real, then making the sacrifice to love and preach the Gospel is the wisest thing a person could do.
But if the words of Jesus are false, and there is no resurrection, then I am a fool who has wasted his only chance for earthly comfort.
I know what I believe, you can decide for yourself.