“But sir, he called the Enterprise a garbage scow.”
What would you give up to follow Jesus? Better yet, what have you given up already? Anything? If salvation is a free gift, then why even have this conversation? I say it is because there are some things that are just beyond mere salvation. A deeper, more fulfilling relationship and walk with Jesus and others is one of those things.
Jesus has an interesting conversation with a rich young man in Matthew chapter 19. The young man claims to have kept some heavy commandments like, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Yet Jesus said he still lacked one thing… That the young man still needed to go sell all of his possessions and give to the poor. It says that when “the young man heard this he went away sad because he had great wealth.”
I believe that we need to surrender everything in order to follow Jesus and to walk closely with Him. That includes more than just money or all the stuff we have accumulated in our lives. It includes any intellectual property or things we take pride in too. Paul put it this way in Philippians 3:7-8, ” But, whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish (garbage, dung, literally shit) , that I may gain Christ.” I don’t know about you, but I want more than to just be saved. I want to truly know Jesus and walk closely with Him in this life, as well as the next.
Does this mean that you will have to literally sell your home and all your belongings and give it all to the poor? For some of us, yes. But for the most of us it means to be totally sold out and willing to lay it all down if He requires it of us at any given time. What it really means is don’t allow your stuff to own or control you. We need to be free of the bondage and slavery to all of our belongings and the endless pride we have in our earthly accomplishments. My dear friend Glenn Kaiser puts it this way, ” It will cost you everything to follow Jesus, and it will cost you everything if you don’t.” So don’t cling tightly to all your trophies and prizes that you have gained in this life. Sometimes the thing we need to give up most is the recognition we have received for our gifts and talents.
Total surrender is a very difficult thing to do. Most of us never really surrender. What we really do most times is negotiate treaties. Always holding back a portion of ourselves and this is a sad way to live our lives before Christ and others. What part of, “Deny yourself.” did you not understand?
Love and …….
Kirk Out !