Purley Gates Retreat
How tightly do you hold to this life?
Just sit back and think about your life and actions for a bit. Reflect for a while. Do you live with an eternal mindset, or are you concerned about the temporary?
This is a topic that God has been working on me for a while, and He has put a big passion in my heart for it. It is probably one of the toughest topics that we deal with, but it is crucial to living successfully as a follower of Jesus. We may be able to talk big games and say we can easily give everything up to follow Jesus, but when it comes down to it, we are scared to death to let go.
I have a little example that I like to share with people when I am talking about this subject. If you have ever heard Francis Chan’s rope example, this is my own version of that so hang with me.
I want you to look at your pinky finger, and examine how wide it is. It’s pretty small right? Well this distance represents the length of our lives on this earth. Not very long.
Now I want you to attempt to imagine the distance between California and New York. That’s a pretty big difference compared to your pinky! This distance will represent eternity, but you know what’s awesome is that distance doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of eternity.
So, the question I always ask after giving this example is why do we spend so much time, money, and energy on the “pinky” instead of being more concerned with eternity?
In Luke 9:23 Jesus tells us that in order to follow Him and be His disciple, we have to deny ourselves. We have to give up this life in order to gain the life that Jesus gives.
In Matthew 19 when Jesus is talking with a young man who has great earthly wealth, He tells the man to sell everything (v. 21). We cannot follow Jesus wholeheartedly with our treasures standing in the way.
Matthew 10:38-39 says “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Paul was a man who understood these things, and Jesus was his absolute everything. He followed every command, and sacrificed anything in order to be closer to God. In Philippians 1:21, Paul helps put things in perspective for us. If God chooses to give us another day on this earth, then it is a blessing because it means another opportunity to love and live like Jesus for others. If God decides our time is done, then hallelujah! We are hanging out with God forever!
What I’m trying to convey with this post is that it is impossible to have this eternal mindset, like Jesus and Paul show in the verses, if we are clinging to this life on Earth. Jesus didn’t tell the young man to follow Him, and as you go get rid of a few things. No, Jesus said get rid of it all and THEN you can follow me. The order was intentional, and we have to remember that.
I hope this message challenges you all today like it has been challenging me. If you have any comments, I would love to hear from you. Have a blessed day and Jesus loves you!