As I was sitting here wondering about what to write, a memory hit my mind. I remember the day, the thoughts I had, and the way I felt. This memory prompted this blog post, and I feel like Christ brought this to my attention. A year and a half ago, roughly around October of 2015, I was interested in a guy. He seemed to be a godly man who followed Christ entirely, but I was wrong when I found out that he didn’t deny himself to the Lord. He was claiming to follow Christ, yet he still did things of this world.
I was upset, disappointed, and I remember thinking “Are there godly Christians out there who actually follow God with their entire hearts and do not live double lives?” I remember feeling heartbroken, sad, and somewhat stupid, but this is what motivated me to write today’s blog post.
When you accept Christ into your heart, you give Him your all, or you don’t give Him anything. You can’t just give Him part of yourself and not everything. That’s like saying you’re only going to give the love of your life half of your love to them. Therefore, following Christ takes complete dedication, and you have to let Him take over your entire life!
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33
If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, you can’t be a disciple. Now, as humans, this task can be hard, but with God’s power and love, He can give us the desire to be willing to give Him our all for Him! All you have to do is confess, be willing to let Him change you, and you also have to let go of this world.
Ever since that incident with that guy, I observe a lot of things, especially fellow Christians. I observe the way the uphold themselves in this sinful world, I observe whether they have the fruits of the Spirit or not, and I also observe their love for Jesus! You will learn a lot about a person when you ask them about their faith, their walk with Christ, and what Christ means to them. When you look out and keep your eyes out, you will know who the truly dedicated Christians are.
“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16
How do we tell if someone is truly saved? You observe if they have the fruits of the Spirit. An unsaved person will not bare any of the fruits that the Holy Spirit gives us; therefore, this is how you can tell a christian from a non-christian. Galatians says that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We will not be perfect with each one for we are human. We will have areas in which we struggle in, but again, Jesus is willing and just to forgive us, but we must also be wiling to let Him change us.
When we accept Christ, we have to bare our cross. We have to be willing to pick up our own cross. How can we say we love Him when we are unwilling to pick up our own cross?
“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
We must deny ourselves! With the society with live in today, denying ourselves is foreign. We live in a culture where we want everything on us, but Christ says we must do the opposite of what the world says. We must put ourselves last, we must pick up our cross and we must follow Him. Being a christian isn’t going to be easy. You will have a sinful world attacking you, you will have Satan trying to make you stumble in your faith, and you will have to fight your flesh daily.
This world will be the only form of persecution that we as believers in Christ will face; however, this will be the only heaven that unsaved people will have. With the way this world is, I would not want this as my heaven. My heaven is not this earth! My heaven is with Jesus! My heaven is with the man who died on a cross so I could have eternal life. My heaven is with the man who defeated the grave.
The very though of Christ giving His life for me, makes me want to deny myself, for I am not worthy of His grace. Though we are not worthy, He still loved us! Jesus gave us grace, and I am going to reach out and grab it! Why are people afraid of grasping out and grabbing Jesus’ hand?
The main reason is because of the one requirement; giving your heart and your life to Him. That one task is the one thing that many people do not want to do. Hollywood doesn’t want too, most celebrities don’t want too, and our world does not want too. Following Christ requires you to die to yourself!
“knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:6
When we become born again, we die to our old selves. We are no longer slaves of sin, but instead, we are now children of God! Therefore, we must deny ourselves to follow Him. If you are having trouble with this issue, God is willing to forgive you. You need to fall to your knees and ask Him to forgive you, and He will change you.
Conviction is something that should not be hated, but instead it should be appreciated, for it’s the Holy Spirit telling you of what you did wrong. Whenever you feel the Holy Spirit working on you, it’s God wanting you to come closer to Him. It’s not too late to get your relationship right with Him. God is always one word away! All you have to do, is call on His name, and He will be there listening!