Oct 10, 2014
No Turning Back – Brandon Heath
Oct 10, 2014
No Turning Back – Brandon Heath
…someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” —Luke 9:57
Our Lord’s attitude toward this man was one of severe discouragement, “for He knew what was in man” (John 2:25). We would have said, “I can’t imagine why He lost the opportunity of winning that man! Imagine being so cold to him and turning him away so discouraged!” Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to be hurt or offended. Jesus Christ had no tenderness whatsoever toward anything that was ultimately going to ruin a person in his service to God. Our Lord’s answers were not based on some whim or impulsive thought, but on the knowledge of “what was in man.” If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you can be sure that there is something in you that He wants to hurt to the point of its death.
Luke 9:58. These words destroy the argument of serving Jesus Christ because it is a pleasant thing to do. And the strictness of the rejection that He demands of me allows for nothing to remain in my life but my Lord, myself, and a sense of desperate hope. He says that I must let everyone else come or go, and that I must be guided solely by my relationship to Him. And He says, “…the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Luke 9:59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor did he want to show a lack of respect for his father. We put our sense of loyalty to our relatives ahead of our loyalty to Jesus Christ, forcing Him to take last place. When your loyalties conflict, always obey Jesus Christ whatever the cost.
Luke 9:61. The person who says, “Lord, I will follow You, but…,” is the person who is intensely ready to go, but never goes. This man had reservations about going. The exacting call of Jesus has no room for good-byes; good-byes, as we often use them, are pagan, not Christian, because they divert us from the call. Once the call of God comes to you, start going and never stop.
No one could have had a more sensitive love in human relationship than Jesus; and yet He says there are times when love to father and mother must be hatred in comparison to our love for Him. So Send I You, 1301 L OSWALD CHAMBERS
The Lord promises to supply our needs, but that means in His way and time frame. There might be temptations to take a wrong approach, so we must be careful not to push ahead of God or follow a route that leads away from Him.
Some people think their security rests in bank accounts, prestige, other people, or possessions. This can lead to becoming a workaholic who sacrifices relationships for financial gain. Or it could tempt someone to engage in unethical activities. In contrast, by basing our life on the security we have in Christ, we will have peace of mind and heart.
Another unhealthy way to meet our needs involves looking for companionship outside of God’s established boundaries. We may find temporary excitement in an inappropriate relationship, but in the end, that road brings pain and disappointment.
The enemy wants us to provide for ourselves in a way that is independent of God and out of line with His will. Satan deceived Adam and Eve by implying that the Lord was keeping some important information from them; he suggested that his course of action, not the Creator’s, would make them wise. The first man and woman exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and it cost them dearly. If we allow wrong thinking to direct our actions, we get ourselves into a lot of trouble, too.
It’s important to understand what we have received through our relationship with Jesus. Learning to depend on Him will help us avoid wrong approaches to getting what we need.
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)
In the original Greek text of the New Testament, the word translated “creature” is the same as “creation,” so Paul, in our text, is stressing the vital importance of being a “new creation” in Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is nothing less than the mighty Creator of heaven and Earth (Colossians 1:16), and the very same creative power which called the universe into existence must be exerted on each lost sinner to create in him a new nature, capable of having the eternal fellowship with God for which man and woman were created in the beginning.
This new creation is not only for the purpose of saving their souls, but also for transforming their lives. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Although good works can never bring salvation, salvation must inevitably bring good works, for we are thereby “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Paul exhorts us to continually “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
Adam and Eve were originally created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), but that image has been grievously damaged by unbelief and overt sin. Although still resident in man—in fact, distinguishing him from the animals—this divine image must be renewed through saving faith in our Creator/Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Scripture reminds all true believers that they “have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:9-10). HMM
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. —Colossians 1:18
Fénelon teaches that to make our deeds acceptable to God it is not necessary that we change our occupation (if it is honest), but only that we begin to do for Christ’s sake what we had formerly been doing for our own. To some of us this will seem too tame and ordinary. We want to do great things for God, to hazard our lives in dramatic acts of devotion that will attract the attention of fellow Christians and perhaps of the larger world outside. Visions of Huss at the stake, Luther at the Diet of Worms or Livingstone in the heart of Africa flit before our minds as we think on spiritual things. Plain, workaday Christians like us—how can we rise to such heroic heights? With our families to support, with our lot cast in the dull routine of the commonplace, with no one threatening us with imprisonment or death: how can we live lives acceptable to God? What can we do to satisfy the heart of our Father in heaven?
“The answer is nigh thee, even in thy mouth” (Romans 10:8). Vacate the throne room of your heart and enthrone Jesus there…. Make Him your all in all and try yourself to become less and less. Dedicate your entire life to His honor alone and shift the motives of your life from self to God. Let the reason back of your daily conduct be Christ and His glory, not yourself, nor your family nor your country nor your church. In all things let Him have the preeminence.
It is my prayer, Lord, that in all things Christ might have preeminence so I can do great things for You. Amen.
I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)
Let me tell you about the true Christian, the Bible Christian, and his view of this troubled and uncertain world in which he lives.
He is not the worldly-wise, smiling optimist who draws his comfort from a denial of the facts; or bases his hopes on false expectation of peaceful intentions among nations.
Rather, he is of all men the truest realist. He will have nothing to do with fantasy—he wants to know the facts—and he does not hesitate to face up to any truth wherever he finds it.
He knows the world is lost on a wide area, and that the Christian alone knows the way to the desired haven. For in the Bible and there only, is found the chart to tell us where we are in this rough and unknown ocean.
He knows that the day when Christians should meekly apologize is over; that they can get the world’s attention not by trying to compromise and please, but by boldly declaring the truth of divine revelation with the affirmative signature, “Thus saith the Lord!”
And he is full of truth. True have his promises been; not one has failed. I want none beside him. In life he is my life, and in death he shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness he makes my bed; in darkness he is my star, and in brightness he is my sun; He is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and he shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace he is full, infinitely full. My soul, this day, bless with all thy might “the only Begotten.”