Prior to Easter, I like to take time to meditate on the numerous ways God shows us His love through His life, death, and resurrection. A recent devotion led me through John 14, where verse 9 pierced my heart.
[John 14:9 NASB] Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
After meditating on God’s love as a perfect father through the life of Christ, I now see He gave up all his physical comfort for my spiritual growth. He left his pleasures and home in Heaven. He never even bought a house on earth. He lived life as simply as humanly possible. He spent all of His energy on being obedient to His Heavenly Father while loving on and educating His kids. He taught them through the Word and through His life. He modeled perfect humility, love, and sacrifice. He gave them the gift of His Spirit and the hope of a better tomorrow, one that is not controlled by a fallen creation but is set free through a complete creator.
I, like every other parent, desire a more comfortable life for my kids. The spirit of this world teaches us comfort comes from the outside in. If we amass money, a better car, a better carnal education, a better job, a better house, a better mate, a better benefit plan etc., then we will find more comfort. Our Heavenly Father teaches us the opposite through His Word and life while He was here on Earth.
[Luke 12:34 NASB] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
As a child of Christ, I first have to ask myself if I will truly accept my Heavenly Father’s teaching. As a father to my daughters, Grace and Elise, I next have to ask myself how much am I willing to commit my life to live like Jesus for their sake? Am I willing to give up my physical comfort for their spiritual growth? Am I willing to give up my time, my talents, my resources, my pride, and myself for the next generation?
[1John 2:6 NIV] Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
What would the Church of the future look like if more adults raised up kids like Jesus did? What if those kids taught their kids to do the same? By evidence of the eleven disciples that Jesus sowed His life into, the Church would reap a lot more fruit and have more influence on the Earth. The logic is simple. The decision is not. In some of His last words Jesus said when He returns to rule the Earth the reward will be worth it.
[Matthew 19:28-30 NIV] 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first.”
Do I believe the reward is worth the sacrifice now? Do I believe Spiritual comfort is greater than carnal comfort? Do I believe Jesus? Am I willing to accept all of His teachings along with His death and resurrection for my salvation? What will I do? What will you do? What will the future Church look like?
Blessings in Christ, Andy