This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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Those who have access to the many avenues of modern communications technology are exposed daily to a seemingly endless stream of delights and opportunities, along with many warnings and reports of disaster; our whole day can be used just in viewing what is available or coming upon us. But I am reminded of what Jesus said to two very dear friends of His as He visited with them. "Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord's feet and was listening to His teaching. But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]! But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; there is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42).
Jesus had a similar rebuke against a very hard-working church as recorded in the book of Revelation. "To the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars [which are the messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands [which are the seven churches]: I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars. I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name's sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary. But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]" (Rev. 2:1-4).
MATTHEW 10:37-39.... He who loves [and takes more pleasure in] father or mother more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves [and takes more pleasure in] son or daughter more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].
These three passages of Scripture should leave no doubt in our minds about who or what should have top priority in our lives. Martha’s work was commendable, so was the work and activities of the Ephesian church, as well as loving our fathers, mothers, son and daughters, but, nothing even comes close to comparing with the importance of an ever increasing knowledge of and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
When a young couple first get married they are usually very much in love, and most probably experience a gradual decrease in the intensity of that first love – but it doesn’t have to happen and it shouldn’t! Unfortunately the same kind of mentality and experience can happen to a Christian and his relationship with the Lord, and when it does he has failed in the most important area in all of life. There is nothing that can bring greater satisfaction to us or Christ than an ever increasing knowledge of and intimacy with our Lord Jesus Christ, this should take top priority in all that we think and do, nothing should be allowed to interfere with the pursuit of it! Jesus was not pleased when the Ephesian church got so busy serving Him that they ended up neglecting Him, He is not nearly as interested in what we do as He is in how much we love and appreciate Him, and if we love Him we will do what He wants us to do – "If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands" (John 14:15).
The kind of love that God expects and desires of us is a love of total submission and commitment to His plans and interests, just as a proper wife submits to the plans of the husband for the family. This kind of love and devotion is a learning experience that takes time to acquire. In the Scripture below, Jesus uses several illustrations to emphasize this total commitment He expects of us.
LUKE 14:25-35.... Now huge crowds were going along with [Jesus], and He turned and said to them, if anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters--[yes] and even his own life also – he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.
28For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him, saying, This man began to build and was not able ( worth enough) to finish. Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks the terms of peace.
33So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple. Salt is good [an excellent thing], but if salt has lost its strength and has become saltless (insipid, flat), how shall its saltness be restored? It is fit neither for the land nor for the manure heap; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him listen and consider and comprehend by hearing!
Jesus is not asking us to give away everything that we have or posses, but to give it up to Him to be used as He directs us personally.
A disciple is a student who is in the process of learning from his teacher or instructor, and as Jesus said, we cannot expect to learn from Him if we do not love Him in this manner. Neither can we expect to love Him if we fail to get to know Him properly. Paul shows us in the following Scripture that this is the same conclusion that he had come to.
PHILIPPIANS 3:7-14.... But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed one), and that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed one), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.
10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] that if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
The way that Jesus provided for us to get to know Him in this way is explained for us in chapters 14 through 17 of the Gospel of John, here are a few excerpts:
JOHN 16:13-14.... But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.
JOHN 16:24.... Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.
Jesus explained to us how we are to put this into practice; if we have been born again (Jn. 3:3), then, "if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17)! Now as new creatures in Christ, we can pray as He instructed us to do; "But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open" (Matt. 6:6). We are to close ourselves in with God or enter into His presence through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit and ask to be lead, guided and taught as we daily pray, read and meditate through God’s Word, and then watch and wait for the results – "Listen to my words, O Lord, give heed to my sighing and groaning. Hear the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You do I pray. In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]" (Ps. 5:1-3). The what, the why, and the when are all according to His marvelous wisdom and timing, He never makes a mistake or misjudgement about our training program. But we can hinder His plans if we play hooky or fail to show up for school every day, or seek a different program on our own instead of rightly determining His clear guidance.
If you have not made this kind of a commitment to Jesus, and wish to make it and begin to experience it; simply ask Him in the above manner and never turn back from or relinquish your commitment, and the Holy Spirit whom God has made to dwell in you will begin your personal, specialized training program as you appear before Him every day with an open Bible and a prayer for more about Jesus.