Last Sunday our reading and talk touched on some of the radically different ways we should live as God’s people. I will not revisit them now as you can listen to this talk on our web site. But it is worthwhile us stopping and asking ourselves the question I finished with “Are you willing to be discipled by Jesus and take your cues from him?”
I wonder how well we really understand and submit to the demands that Jesus places on our lives as his people, especially when it comes to reallocating our treasures in life.
In a book I am reading through at the moment (at a very slow rate), there is a heading that reads “Suffering for Jesus with joy shows his supreme value”.
It might come as a shock to some that if we are willing to take our cues from Jesus about living as his people it will result in us suffering at all. Sadly there is a common thinking that if we follow Jesus well and put “all our faith” in him, it will result in our lives being “healthy, wealthy and wise”. This is sometimes referred to as the prosperity doctrine and it certainly does not reflect the teaching of God’s word, this flase thinking is more about treasures on earth (more later).
In the book I am reading, it reminds us that Jesus did not die to make our lives easy or prosperous. He died to remove every obstacle to our everlasting and eternal joy in making much of him. Jesus calls on us to follow him in his sufferings because as we joyfully suffer for him, it shows the world that we live in, that he is more valuable than all the earthly rewards that the world lives for.
If you follow Jesus because he makes your life easy now, it will certainly look to the word that you love what they love and you only follow him because he provides it for you. Suffering might cause you to find another way.
But if you suffer for Jesus because he is your supreme treasure, then it will be apparent to the world that your heart is set on a different fortune than theirs. This is of course why Jesus called on those who follow him to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. The question is, are you suffering joyfully?