Saturday, April 11, 2015

Are You Chasing?


Luke 2:16
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

Matthew 8:2
And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."

Luke 9:23
The He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

The Shepherds came because the angel told them that a Savior had been born that day. They didn't just come...they came with haste. They left everything to find this Jesus.

The Leper came because of desperation. Desperate to be healed, and recognizing Jesus as the only source of healing, this leper risked everything to get to Jesus. He truly believed that Jesus possessed the power to change his life by healing Him. He just wasn't sure if Jesus would. Maybe the leper didn't thing Jesus would see him as being worthy of healing. After all, he was a leper. All he knew in live was scorn, ridicule and rejection. He may have even prayed, "Oh God....you are going to have to either heal me....or kill me...I can't go on like this!" 

Jesus in talking to the crowd, opened the door for relationship with Him. When I read the verse from Luke 9, I see it written where Jesus was talking to everyone who was present that day. But like the words of Christ, they did more than strike the ears of those who were there, they have continued to speak year after year.....century after century...and are as relevant today as they were on the day Jesus spoke them. He lays down some very simple guidelines for following Him.
(1.) You've got to deny yourself. 
I have heard several messages on what it means to deny ones self. To me it is very simple, and very hard. To deny yourself, according to what the Amplified Bible says, is to Disown yourself ---forget yourself---lose sight of yourself---and lose sight of your own interests---to refuse and give up yourself to Christ. In other words, we take the back seat to whatever Jesus is doing in us and where He is taking us on this journey we call life.

I like the way Proverbs 3:5-6 puts it.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
In our old lifestyle of sin/addiction, we trusted in our own wants and desires. We fed our cravings and our appetites with everything that was counter to what God wanted for us. We continued to move farther and farther away from God, and deeper and deeper into spiritual darkness. Destruction and depression piled up higher and higher until we were totally submerged under an ocean of guilt and shame. If we stay in this place long enough, we become numb to the truth. We give into the deadly thought that "we are who we are and we cannot change, we are hopeless. That very thought is a lie from the pit of hell, created to keep us away from God. 

This is the very reason we get together on Saturday nights at Vineyard ReCovery. To call on Jesus to break the power of that very thought. Because we know all to well that if the thought is broken, then the lie is uncovered. If the lie is uncovered then the truth will be known. If the truth is known, then the heart will turn to this Jesus, and if the heart turns to Christ, the chase is on.

One more life redeemed from the pit of emptiness.
Truth be known...
Everyone of us should be chasing  Jesus.
He should be the focus of our day...
The destination of our journey...
Love for Him should be the fuel that motivates me every morning when I get up.

How could it be any other way?

God on you..
mb

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