Matt 10:32-39- The Living Bible
32 "If anyone publicly acknowledges me as his friend, I will openly acknowledge him as my friend before my Father in heaven.
33 But if anyone publicly denies me, I will openly deny him before my Father in heaven.
34 "Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, rather, a sword.
35 I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-
36 a man's worst enemies will be right in his own home!
37 If you love your father and mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.
38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.
39 "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it.
[If anyone publicly acknowledges me as his friend]
When Jesus speaks of confessing Him, He is not merely talking about us saying “I am a child of God” or us saying “I go to church”. That is not enough! when Jesus speaks of us confessing Him, He is talking about a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365-366 days a year full confession. When I say full confession I am speaking of confessing Him in your speech, in your thoughts, in your actions before people and away from people and how you conduct your daily life. In other words, make it a LIFESTYLE !
We can’t say we represent Jesus and our lifestyle contradicts! For example, how is it going to look if people who are working for Burger King only sell McDonald products? Yea the sign may say Burger King, the staff attire may be the Burger King colours BUT what is being offered on the menu blatantly screams $1 menu from McDonalds. That is where the problem comes in. The denial….
[But if anyone publicly denies me, I will openly deny him before my Father in heaven.]
We have become used to too many choices and conveniences in today’s society. We can TIVO stuff and watch it when it’s convenient, we can microwave a full meal in 3 minutes, when it would usually take an hour to prepare. We can customize our shoes and our rides; we can mix and match our clothes to get that fly get up. BUT this is where the problem arises; we want to take this convenience over to Christianity. We acknowledge Jesus among certain friends and people; we act “Christian-like” when we are in church settings. We know what scriptures to quote and what clichés to say “God is good” “Amen” “Ain’t nobody do me like Jesus” but when it comes down to living this lifestyle DIE HARD 24/7 we can't do it.
Why? Because the lifestyle of Christ is uncompromisable and undeniable. This means that you can’t TIVO your salvation (put it on when it’s convenient) and you can’t tint your windows (hide your light). It’s CHRIST’S WAY or the DIE-WAY.
People will come with the excuse, God knows I’m human, He knows I make mistakes. Besides you can’t Judge me, ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME!!!! The famous words of a person looking for a loophole in the head lock of conviction. Only God can Judge you huh? Well let’s fast forward to when GOD judges you.
Luke 13:24-27- And he replied, 24 "The door to heaven is narrow. Work hard to get in, for the truth is that many will try to enter but when the head of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. Then if you stand outside knocking, and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us,' he will reply, 'I do not know you.' 26 "'But we ate with you, and you taught in our streets,' you will say. 27 "And he will reply, 'I tell you, I don't know you. You can't come in here, guilty as you are. Go away.'
OUCH !!!! dats like a smurf going for a lay up and getting rejected by SHAQ.
The door to heaven is narrow, that means when we put on the uncustomisable likeness of CHRIST, we are guaranteed to fit in. But if we get caught up in putting rims, sound systems and GPS navigation onto our Christianity for convenience, we are in danger of not being able to fit through that small space.
Yes God knows we are human and prone to mistakes, but don’t use that as a crutch to keep on sinning. I bet you know some people like this, how annoying is it when you want someone to help you do something they're like “Oh you know I can’t help you, I got a bad heart” or “I can’t do that, you know I got asthma”. But switch the topic “Aye Yo! Let’s go play some football or go for a run on the beach.” They’re more ready to do it than you. Where did the asthma and heart condition go? It went nowhere, it was just used as an excuse of convenience to suit their purpose for the time being.
The Bible says in Rom 6:14-17- 14 Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God's favor and mercy. 15 Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it? (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law but on receiving God's grace!) Of course not! 16 Don't you realize that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal). The one to whom you offer yourself-he will take you and be your master, and you will be his slave.
Anyone who compromises Jesus is saying that the temporal things of the world are more important and more valuable than the Eternal Things of GOD. Point blank! If you don’t acknowledge Jesus 300% in EVERYTHINGGGGGGG you do. He won’t know you at the judgment seat. Which do you prefer? To have Jesus on your side as a lawyer and a witness or have Him opposing you as Judge and Jury?
["Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, rather, a sword…… a man's worst enemies will be right in his own home!”]
Your decision to rep Jesus die-hard, no holds barred may possibly open a new door of conflict with the homies, the blood, La Familia….the people who mean the most to you. The ones who are suppose to ride and die with and for you.
Please don’t make the mistake and think that because your family is against you, that maybe you are in the wrong. Nope! It’s as simple as this, for example, some people have a bad heart, liver or kidney and a surgery is required to replace this bad organ with a new and better one. The surgery is successful and the body seems to be doing fine. But on the inside there is a problem! The body was used to the bad organ, it grew up with that organ and functioned with that organ. And now there is a new one taking its place? No can do buddy !!!!! So what does the body do? It tries to reject the organ. In other words it is trying to kill the very thing that is saving its life.
Where does that leave us?
[If you love your father and mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine]
You have to love Jesus more than blood relatives and friends, you have to love Jesus more even if it means being rejected by family and treated as the outcast.
They did it to Jesus, His own hometown didn’t even recognize Him as the Messiah.
Mark 6:2-6 The next Sabbath he went to the synagogue to teach, and the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles because he was just a local man like themselves. "He's no better than we are," they said. "He's just a carpenter, Mary's boy, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us." And they were offended! 4 Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family." 5 And because of their unbelief he couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn't believe in him.
Home boy was surprised that His own people did Him like that. Because of their attitude towards Him, His potential there was limited. It didn’t stop Him from doing miracles, but the magnitude to which they could have been done was hindered. So Jesus had to step out from among them to do GOD’s work.
For you, taking a step out may be literal. You may have to move out or you may have to step out, in the sense of not doing things with them like you usually did. For example, if you have a family reunion and they’re playing music that contradicts your Christian beliefs, you don’t dance. If they're drinking, you sip on the red koolaid. If they're passing the weed, you pass the Bible. If they're having vulgar conversations, you either step out from it or interject Jesus into it. If they're watching a movie that offends the spirit of Christ within you, just see your way out of the room.
Yes it’s going to be a SACRIFICE !!! It’s no fun being the one who stands out, it’s no fun always being alone. Quite frankly IT STINKS !!!!!! I am not only the President of the “alone” club but I am a member as well.
But I have to remind myself that if I compromise to please people then I’m basically cheating on Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t like sharing His girlfriend. Matter of fact any sensible, moral person doesn’t like sharing his lover.
We are the Bride of Christ, either we love Him enough not to cheat on Him or we may as well stop wasting our time and His. Jesus said if you're half stepping and creeping on Him, he doesn’t want anything to do with you
Rev 3:15-16 "I know you well-you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! 16 But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!
In the original translations when He says “spit” it really means vomit. Simply put, the thought of you cheating on Jesus makes Him vomit.
[If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it.]
Everyone has a birthday and a death day, it’s inevitable. Here’s the thing, do you want to die like everyone else or do you want to die with honour? Everyday people don’t carry their cross, they live for their own interests and they live for the now, they get fun, success, their heart's desire and then they are buried in the ground “hidden” from men and very soon forgotten.
Christians are made to carry their cross, whether it's ridicule, insults, mistreatments and whatever injustices that are thrown at us, we are made to carry this cross until our death day. The world rejects us and spits on us, we are the butt of jokes and insults and no one cares about us or what happens to us. But here’s the thing, when you die. You get to die on the cross, you are “hung up” for everyone to see.
This isn’t done for you to be a spectacle, but for people to say “Dag! This dude/girl was uncompromising in what they believed, they died for it despite what people said and did, I gotta give them respect for that”
Mark 15:37-39 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
Jesus died with an impact, this impact was so Great that the very people who spit on Him, beat Him, cursed Him, insulted Him, nailed Him to the cross etc. were the ones giving Him props in the end.
Everyone remembers Jesus’ death because He died on the cross, no one remembers the Soldier’s death because he was buried in the ground. Matter of fact, does anyone know his name?
[If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it.]
If you spend your whole life trying to find yourself through jobs, hobbies, success and wealth you have already lost your life. You are short sighted, you are only living life for the 9 to 5. You have to think beyond that. You have to think of the Ever after. Why would you want to spend your whole life ballin' now and living poor forever? Than live your life “poor” now and Ball forever.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Christians are to be bored and poor.
NEVER THAT !!!
I’m saying where your focus is, is where your heart and zeal to succeed is!
Matt 6:19-21"Don't store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. 20 Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves. 21 If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too.
When you sacrifice all your wants and desires to pursue God’s, that’s the best investment you can ever make. Take for example, my homeboys Daniel and the Hebrew boys, as extreme as it was they were willing to lose their life for Jesus.
The law said to worship the Idol, the Hebrew boys said NO!
Dan 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us. 17 If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. 18 But if he doesn't, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected."
The law forbids Daniel to pray to God, but homeboy still did his thing.
Dan 6:7-10"All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions' den. 8 "Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked." 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
What happened? The Hebrew boys were thrown in the furnace and Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den. The End? Nope!… remixxxxxx.............
The people who made the furnace to kill the Hebrew boys were killed and the Hebrew boys got the hook up.
Dan 3:19-21, 26-30Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and his face became dark with anger at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He commanded that the furnace be heated up seven times hotter than usual, 20 and called for some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and throw them into the fire. 21 So they bound them tight with ropes and threw them into the furnace, fully clothed. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames leaped out and killed the soldiers as they threw them in. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the open door of the flaming furnace and yelled: "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God! Come out! Come here!" So they stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the princes, governors, captains, and counselors crowded around them and saw that the fire hadn't touched them-not a hair of their heads was singed; their coats were unscorched, and they didn't even smell of smoke! 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for he sent his angel to deliver his trusting servants when they defied the king's commandment and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own. 29 Therefore, I make this decree, that any person of any nation, language, or religion who speaks a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb and his house knocked into a heap of rubble. For no other God can do what this one does." 30 Then the king gave promotions to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, so that they prospered greatly there in the province of Babylon.
The People who plotted against Daniel were thrown in the lion’s den and homeboy got the hook up as well.
Dan 6:20-28 The King called out in anguish, "O Daniel, servant of the Living God, was your God, whom you worship continually, able to deliver you from the lions?" 21 Then he heard a voice! "Your Majesty, live forever!" It was Daniel! 22 "My God has sent his angel," he said, "to shut the lions' mouths so that they can't touch me, for I am innocent before God; nor, sir, have I wronged you." 23 The king was beside himself with joy and ordered Daniel lifted from the den. And not a scratch was found on him because he believed in his God.
24 Then the king issued a command to bring the men who had accused Daniel and throw them into the den along with their children and wives, and the lions leaped upon them and tore them apart before they even hit the bottom of the den. 25 Afterward King Darius wrote this message addressed to everyone in his empire:
"Greetings! I decree that everyone shall tremble and fear before the God of Daniel in every part of my kingdom. For his God is the living, unchanging God whose kingdom shall never be destroyed and whose power shall never end. 27 He delivers his people, preserving them from harm; he does great miracles in heaven and earth; it is he who delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."
28 So Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
So all in all it’s really better to acknowledge Christ than to deny Him, cus even though we have a price to pay for doing it, the results are worth paying the price.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Originally posted circa 2006
Originally posted circa 2006