"If we confess our sins, He
is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
What each of us does depends upon what we value most.
Jesus said, "Count
the costs" of
being one of His disciples. To some the cost seems
infinitely small, but to others it is more than they are
willing to pay. Jesus and His Way must be valued above
all else or we are not worthy of Him, -"If
anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and
mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters,
yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."
(Luke.14)Of course Jesus does not want us
to literally hate anyone for He has even commanded us to
love our enemies. The meaning of this in the Greek is "by
comparison of his love for Me."
Jesus prophesied that He had "not
come to bring peace, but a sword" which
would cause division even among family members. Jesus
demonstrated His love for us, and how much He valued us
by dying on the cross - He expects us to take up our
cross and place the same value in Him, -"And
he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is
not worthy of Me." (Matt.10)
He has called us to intimate fellowship in a holy
Covenant, and as the Bridegroom of the Church, has a
godly jealousy for His bride. I love my wonderful wife
of 38 years, but understand that if my love and
commitment to the Lord is not far away greater, I am
unworthy of Jesus.
When you say "Yes" to the Lord you cannot have wandering
eyes for another. I cannot follow my wife and my wife
cannot follow me except as she sees me following Christ.
Her Covenant with me is until one of us dies, but her
Covenant with the Lord is forever. Who we follow is who
we value most, and whose relationship we cherish most is
the one we value most. It must be Jesus - He cannot
share His glory with those with a lesser commitment.
Most of the Jewish Religious leaders of Jesusí day were
hypocrites. Jesus said that even the good things that
they did were done to obtain honor from men and said, -"Behold,
you receive your reward." These
men valued honor and respect for themselves more than
bringing honor to God. They placed a higher value on
their relationship with their friends than they did in
their relationship with God and as a result forfeited
the eternal reward they could have had in Christ. What
they could get here and now held greater value to them.
Those who see the value of a life in Jesus and the
eternal reward which follows run to Him without delay.
On the Day of Pentecost thousands were convicted and
asked, -"What must we do to
be saved?!" Of
that number, 3000 answered the call and were chosen and
saved. But there were thousands who rejected the call,
of which many became persecutors of the Church.
Each person must consider what truly following Jesus
will cost them and decide for themselves if they value
Him far above all else. God gave us life and our life
one day will leave us and return to Him. Those who lay
down this temporary life to put Jesus first will receive
eternal life in the fullness of joy, -"He
who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost
his life for My sake will find it." (Matt.10) As
for me - I choose Jesus above all.