Peace and grace in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.Luke 9:23-25
9:23. Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
9:24. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
9:25. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
The requirements of our following to Jesus are as follows
ad. 3. Being delivered from the influence of the world
- We must deny ourselves and take up our cross (verse 23).
- We must willingly lose our life because of Jesus (verse 24).
- We must be free from the influence of the world (verse 25).
.1 John 2:16-172:16. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
2:17. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The influences of the world are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
Gaining the whole world means one lives in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life as follows.
- Living in the lust of the flesh.
The practice is one sins up to the peak of sin, namely sin of eating-drinking and marrying-giving in marriage.
Sin of eating-drinking is the same as revelry, namely eating and drinking are not for our need, but our desire, so we smoke, get drunk and do drugs abuse.
Sin of eating-drinking harms physically and destroys spiritually.
Sin of marrying-giving in marriage is sexual sin with all of its kinds up to free sex and sexual deviation that result in venereal diseases.
It also harms physically and destroys spiritually.
- Living in the lust of the eyes.
It is related with apparent or deceitful flesh satisfaction.
The practices are as follows:
- Wearing beautiful cloth and jewelry that is not according to our need, but desire only, so it triggers evil and unclean deeds that harm and destroy ourselves.
- Viewing the things that are not appropriate. It also brings evil and unclean deeds that harm and destroy us.
- Living in the pride of life.
It means as follows:
It harms and destroys ourselves.
- Feeling great, so one does not need God. Consequently, he does not want to worship God.
- One feels that he has the things in the world, so he becomes arrogant. It means one relies on something in the world more than God, so he does not obey Him and the parents.
There are two possibilities in our following to Jesus as follows
::1 John 2:172:17. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
- If we gain the world or live in the influence of the world, we are passing away or perishing with the world forever.
- If we are free from the influence of the world and following Jesus that is the same as obeying God's will, we keep on living forever. It is the same as receiving eternal life in the kingdom of heaven.
The practices of doing God's will are as follows
- Living in holiness.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
4:3. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
4:4. that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
4:5. not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
4:6. that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
4:7. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.
Physical meaning of living in holiness is our thought, heart, mind, word, and deed must be holy.
Spiritual meaning of living in holiness in the family is we as the children must honor and obey our parents.
6:1. Children, obey your parentsin the Lord, for this is right.
6:2. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
6:3. "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
If we honor and obey our parents, God will give us happiness and we live long on the earth.
We have to keep the sanctification in our relationship too until we enter the marriage.
The sanctification in the friendship must be kept too.
4:11. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
4:12. for the equipping of the saintsfor the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
If we are holy, God will give the tunic of many colors, namely ministry and the gift of Holy Spirit to enter the building of the perfect body of Christ. Jesus is the head and we are the body.
The relationship between the head and the body is eternal.
The ministry and gift of Holy Spirit is the tunic of many colors, so our life is organized neatly and made beautiful.
- Totally trusting and committing ourselves to God.
6:29. Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Himwhom He sent."
7:6. Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
"My time has not yet come" means God has not helped us yet.
"but your time is always ready" means our time is always ready to correct ourselves.
We confess our sin to God and others. If we are forgiven, do not sin anymore.
Do not doubt God at all!
We totally commit ourselves to God and we do not hope other. That is the time for God to help us.
The examples are as follows:
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego faced the burning fiery furnace that had been heated seven times. For us now, it means trouble, problem, and increasing temptation up to antichrist that reigns over the world for three and half years.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego totally trusted and committed themselves to God whatever risk might come.
Daniel 3:16-18, 24-25
3:16. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
3:17. "If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
3:18. "But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."
3:24. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king."
3:25. "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."
The result is God was with them and He finished all problems.
God gave successful future to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and they became testimony for others.
Esther faced the murder of the Jews and death, because she went to the king, even she was not called.
But, Esther committed her life in the hand of God.
4:16. "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"
The result is the king stretched out the golden scepter that was in his hand to Esther. All Jews were saved and Esther was appointed to be a queen.
It means there is a beautiful and successful future.
God blesses us.