Prayer: God, I surrender my will and my life to you. Please reveal your plans for my life and forgive me of my sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
There is a common misconception that Jesus was prepared to suffer the extreme torture, including crucifixion required to redeem humanity from sin. However, Matthew refutes the inaccuracy by vividly documenting Jesus’s mental and emotional state of mind before His betrayal and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“…He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'” (Matthew 26:37-38).
Certainly, God was deeply affected by the mistreatment of His only begotten Son. Humanity was not only created in the physical image of God, but we also have the emotions of our Creator. I cannot think of one person I know who would not have heartfelt sorrow for their suffering children. The knowledge that your son died an excruciating death for humanity [who continue to reject Him through their willful disobedience] will justify the destruction of the wicked. [Malachi 4:1].
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'” (Matthew 26:39)
Our relationship with Jesus mandates a dedicated heart-to-heart connection. The same self-sacrifice that salvation required of Jesus, God also requires from us. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Surrendering the desires of our heart involves letting go of the people we are attached to, the places and activities that give us pleasure, and the things that distract and pull us away from staying on the Path of Righteousness.
Just as Satan deceived Eve, he is busy deceiving today’s Christians. Studying the Scriptures and attending church does not indicate self-sacrifice or produce a transformation of the heart. The Pharisees memorized the scriptures. Yes, they were aware of the prophecy of a Messiah: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Yet, they rejected the lowly One born in a stable, Jesus of Nazareth.
It is our lifestyle choices that indicate our rejection of Jesus Christ. Total obedience is required of those who claim Jesus as their Lord. Serving God is not like working for an employer and receiving financial compensation. We cannot work to receive the reward of eternal life in heaven. Reflect on your secrets that God sees and the desires of your heart that indicate God is not first in your life.
“…for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God…(Exodus 34:14).
Are we members of the Laodecia church?
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—” (Revelation 3:15-17).
Many people attempt to establish a middle ground mindset, which leaves them in a spiritual dilemma. The Cold–The wicked either acknowledge or do not care if they are lost. They are living to please themselves. It is the lukewarm Christians who will be sadly disappointed when Jesus comes. They are the believers who possessed Cain’s mindset by offering Jesus their version of sacrifice.
Jesus clarifies the consequences of their “middle ground” mindset:
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.'” (Matthew 7:21-23)
We cannot read Matthew 24 and reassure ourselves that the signs of Jesus coming again have not been fulfilled. “For you are fully aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2).
The Lukewarm says I will do the right thing starting tomorrow. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14).
The Hot humbly give a heart-to-heart sacrificial offering that enables them to “Put God first!” Choose to live a righteous life on earth if you desire eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth. “Father, let Your will be done in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”