Confidence Stems From A Firm Commitment To Christ

August 22, 2013

Friends,
Who of us can honestly say that, if we were really staring death in the face with only a few minutes left to live, we would feel fully confident that upon expiring here we would wake up in Heaven? Most “Christians”, I believe, do not feel this confidence in their heart of hearts. Let’s each take a moment and ask ourselves, “How do I stand in this confidence? Is my stand firm, or shaky?”

Because most “Christians”, if they were being honest, would have to admit that their confidence is lacking, we have a host of “believers in Christ” who are actually very fearful of death. This should not be, for Jesus died to free us from the slavery of this fear. (Heb. 2:14,15) What is death to us –if we battled evil as we were instructed, if we shone the Light so as to expel the darkness, if we advanced the Kingdom through our faith, if we honored the King by our love? Do we not believe God’s Word which has promised that faithful service and good works do gain for us, as we run our race with perseverance, a better and better resurrection? (Mt. 6:20 // 1 Cor. 3:12-15 // Heb. 11:35)

If we whole-heartedly believed God’s Word, would we really shrink back from dangerous assignments? Would we really cringe at the thought of being so totally committed to Christ’s cause that losing all earthly things –all our money, reputation, health, comforts, friends, etc.– would mean nothing to us compared to the eternal life, glory, and joy we were treasuring up in Heaven? (Mt. 25:21 // 2 Cor. 4:17 // 1 Peter 1:7 // Rev. 3:21) We would not. Instead, if we genuinely believed, we would be extremely eager to obey the Commander, and would even look for opportunities to volunteer ourselves to Him.

What keeps people from having this eager attitude? Besides plain selfishness in some, for others it is the cares of this earthly life. It is the bills, the jobs, the treadmill. It is the concern for one’s family and their well-being, and the concerns involving one’s responsibilities. But, we must ask, did the cause or objects of these concerns originate with God? If not, they must be thrown off. Not cruelly so as to mess up others’ lives, but kindly, carefully, wisely, and firmly. As Heb. 12:1 exhorts, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” It is not only sin that hinders a person’s race, but “worries, riches, and pleasures” (Luke 8:14) which act as thorns and choke spiritual maturation and production. (same verse)

If people are carrying around weights and luggage, if they are burdened down with heavy worldly responsibilities, if they have amassed wealth and are used to indulging in pleasures, is it easy for them to give any of it up? It’s not. However, if they are complacent about peeling themselves free of such things, those things will quickly grow more and more layers. The weeds and thorns must be rooted out, or they will grow thicker and stronger, choking the plant until it is completely encumbered, debilitated, and dying.

The Lord wants us free of concerns. He knows we have need of essentials (Mt. 6:32) but He Himself will provide for us as we seek Him, His will, His concerns, His instructions. (v. 33) But we must have the genuine attitude, “All things, even those things and people I have cherished, including my own well-being, are not mine to hold on to, but are God’s –to do with as He sees fit.” Anyone who does not have, and continue to have, this mindset and behavior, cannot belong to Christ. (Luke 14:25-35)

But, for those who do, the earthly life will be lived joyfully for God, and death will not be a fearful thing, but be instead a confidently anticipated reunion with Him who is our greatest Reward. (Phil. 1:20-23)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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