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Doing What the Lord Says Even When It Hurts

I've been a Christian for over 30 years. Over that time I've found myself in situations where I've had to make hard choices, as we all have. Will I follow what the Lord is leading me to do or not? Will I follow Jesus teaching to love others even when it's unpopular, or will I go the easy road and avoid the ridicule and sacrifice that, that road requires? Sometime I've realized the true cost of that choice to follow Him fully and backed off from it. I've made bad choices or just tried to skate through life without making waves. I'm finally coming to a "Zone" with me and Jesus you might say. Not that I've arrived, There's a sinful thought, but I'm pressing on to the high calling of Christ. I'm realizing that the only way I can have a clear conscience and know that I'm in His will is to take the high road, love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and love my neighbor as myself. It's impossible to do this merely by giving lip service to it. I can talk all I want about love and good deeds, but until I decide that I can only do this with the Lord's help, His Spirit in me, and then move as He directs...it's only then that I will begin to do what I see my Father doing in heaven and really fulfill His purpose for my life. Here's the really cool thing though, I'm learning by experience that His Word is really living and active! I'm seeing it in front of me everyday as I speak the Truth to others, and to myself, and do for them as I want them to do for me. I'm seeing God come to life more and more and work on my behalf and that of others too.

This journey isn't easy, just as the Word says, Narrow is the gate, and few are they that find it, but the reward is before me and just as Jesus endured the suffering of the cross for the joy set before Him, so I am glimpsing the rewards before me too. Here on earth I'm beginning to see souls changed and won for Christ, and I also have faith and see with my God-given imagination the gems in my crown and the mansion He's preparing for me in heaven, because I love Him. Even the walls sparkle with all manner of many faceted, perfect gems of many colors. All of this acting on the Word is not of me that I can boast. Jesus gave us His holiness so that we can't boast in a righteousness of ourselves. If it was from us the Israelite's would have conquered sin and death long ago, but since they could not, Jesus came for us to conquer this monster that threatened to eat up everything that's good left on the earth. So now it is our responsibility to do one thing...REST in His finished work on the cross and listen to His voice and do what He says. He's coming back for a pure and spotless bride who is speaking His Words and doing His deeds. But we must act. Are you ready to enter the exciting, but not free from danger, world of following Him with everything you have? He gave us everything and now it's time for us to take up our cross and follow Him in return. Let's take many with us to see His glory, first on this side of heaven and then in the life to come!