I think all of us with kids are feeling this right now! I am, and we normally homeschool! The fact of it is that we are all feeling the frustration and strain from these lockdowns and school closures. It has forced us to accept the fact that sometimes we cannot have it all and we have to make choices. We are forced to decide what is more important. Sometimes, this decision is not easy. How important is learning math when it causes so much disruption in the family? Is it worth sacrificing your relationship with your child in order to accomplish math, a necessary tool for life? In this particular instance, all choices mean a great sacrifice and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
Our walk with Jesus is similar to this scenario, with one very important difference. Let’s explore these.
We cannot have it all. The Bible is very clear that we cannot be double minded and we cannot serve two masters. We cannot be of the world and of the Father.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Matthew 6:24 ESV
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
1 Corinthians 10:21 ESV
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17 ESV
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:4 ESV
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.’”
Revelation 3:15-18 ESV
Being a Christian forces us to decide what is most important in our lives. We have chosen to make Jesus the most important thing. We cannot have it all. We cannot say we love Jesus and then involve ourselves in things that are not of God. We cannot act like the world and say that Jesus has changed our lives. We simply cannot have both. This forces us to make a decision. Which one will we choose?
This decision is not always easy.
Many of us know through experience that choosing Jesus comes at a cost. By choosing Jesus we may have to stop activities we are involved in. We may lost friends and family. For some, our lives are in danger because of the decision. This isn’t just about the decision to follow Christ, it is also in regards to the decisions we make after we decide to follow Christ. These fall into the how we follow Christ. With Jesus as Lord, our lives will change. Although the decisions may be difficult, we will find that we want to make the right decisions. As we continue to make decisions to follow Christ and not the world, the decision making will become clearer and easier. The consequences will still be hard, and sacrifices will have to be made, but we will be content with all of it.
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:25-33 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Luke 9:23 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For 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. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:34-38 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
2 Timothy 1:9 ESV
Choosing Jesus is not easy, and we can only serve him, we can’t serve two things. Here is where our example is different than our relationship with Jesus. In our example, there was no one-size-fits-all answer. But when it comes to Jesus, there is. You either choose him or you don’t. So is it worth it to choose the way of Jesus?
It is always worth it.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 ESV
For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
Matthew 16:27 ESV
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:16-17 ESV
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:8 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Romans 8:28-35 ESV
Are you trying to serve two masters? Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal if you have more than Jesus competing for your time, devotion, resources, or priority.
Is Jesus first in your life? Did the Holy Spirit reveal that there is competition for the #1 spot in your life? If so, repent and ask for guidance and strength to make the right changes.
Are you choosing to follow Jesus, despite the cost? Is fear stopping you from doing what you know is right? Take time to pray about this, asking God to give you the courage to do the right thing despite the fear.
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