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Get Real! How Serious are you about Following Jesus?

If you had to assign a percentage to your commitment to Christ, what would it be? Are you happy with the answer to that question? If it’s anything less than 100%, I have great news! You have room to grow! Your life has the potential to get better!

With every thought, word, and action, you are aligning yourself with Heaven or hell. When we align ourselves with the ways of the world, we’ll get what the world can give us: temporary pleasure with shame quickly to follow. When we choose to align ourselves with Jesus, we get all that Heaven has for us! Psalm 16:5-6 in The Passion Translation says “Yahweh, you alone are my inheritance. You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion. You hold my destiny and its timing in your hands. Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places. I’m overwhelmed by the privileges that come with following you!”.

If you are having a hard time following the path of Christ, maybe you’re misunderstanding the privileges that come with following Him. The only way to find these privileges is to look at God’s love letter to you, the Bible, the Living Word. There you will find what Jesus says. If we look for Him, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). If we draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to us (James 4:8). He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). This world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14). His thoughts towards us are many and they are good (Psalm 139:17)!

The enemy would love for you to misunderstand the heart of God to keep you from following freely after Him. He uses the world to tell us lies, like we’re not good enough or God is mad at us. The only way to distinguish between the truth and the lie is to know the truth of the Word and to hide it in your heart! That just means to read the word and meditate on it!

Let’s go together to Colossians 3:1-17 in The Message Translation! You can look at it in several different translations and see how it hits home best for you. For this passage, I like The Message. It makes it plain. I’m going to put my own commentary in parentheses so you can distinguish it from the scripture.

1-2 “So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. (Act like it!! Act like you know who God is! Act like you know your inheritance! Act like you’re a child of the Most High!) Pursue the things over which Christ presides. (You’ll know these things by reading His word!) Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. (This means don’t be absorbed by your circumstances. Be absorbed by Christ and what He’s doing and saying!) Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ-that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” (Refer back a couple paragraphs, that’s Christ’s perspective and it should be yours too!)

3-4 "Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life-even though invisible to spectators-is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ-your real life, remember-shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too-the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.” (Be content with being humble, working behind the scenes for the greater good!)

5-8 ”And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. (You can only do this through relationship with Christ, through praying and meditating on His word so you can know Him better!) It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.” (Ask God to help you with these things. He will!)

9-11 “Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.” (This means you, too!)

12-14 “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. (Re-read that description! Get familiar with your new wardrobe!) It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

15-17 ”Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. (Don’t you know, you’re made for community!) And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ-the Message- have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! (Praise continually!) Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”

I am so excited to share this with all of you! I look forward to hearing how these scriptures help you commit 100% to Christ. I am praying for each of you as you “get real” about following God!

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