Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014 “Kiss It Goodbye”

“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33- The Message)

Good Morning My Wonderful Friends!

” Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…Brown paper packages tied up with strings; These are a few of my favorite things” 

I’d wager that most of you know the source of that line. That’s right! It’s from “The Sound of Music”. I’d also wager that even now that song is running through your head, and you may be humming it the rest of the morning! I wonder what your favorite things might be? What are those things that bring you the most joy? For some like me, it might be singing. Or it might be enjoying a great meal. Others would answer, “My grand-kids, of course!” Traveling is a big favorite of many. The list, as in Maria Von Trapp’s song, could go on and on. But which, if any, of these favorite things would you be willing to sacrifice in the service of your Lord Jesus Christ? Most of us will never be put in a situation to make such a choice, but let’s think about it, at least. Is there anything so near and dear to you that if it meant sacrificing it for the sake of Christ, you would gladly make that sacrifice? Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son to live in obedience to God. Moses left the relative comfort and safety to the shepherd’s field to face Pharaoh and demand the release of the Jewish captives. Stephen ‘s willingness to follow Christ resulted in his being stoned to death. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews speaks of those who “braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless.” (Hebrews 11: 35-38) They did all of this, and more, in defense of the Gospel and out of their love for Christ. Sadly today, some refuse to go to church because someone said something with which they disagreed. Some leave because they don’t like the pastor. Some get mad at God because of an imagined “unanswered prayer.” Take a close look at the verse at the top of this post. Jesus said if your not ready to take what’s currently nearest and dearest to you and “kiss it goodbye” for His sake, you cannot be His disciple! Discipleship means sacrifice, and it means faithful, heartfelt, fervent prayer. Andrew Bonar of the Free Church of Scotland noted,

 “Pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray; rather fast and lose breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper- and sleep too- than not pray.”

Better, he says, that we neglect our friends, skip meals, and not sleep than to ignore prayer. Better that we be willing to sacrifice those things nearest and dearest to us than to not pursue our relationship with Christ, heart, soul, mind, and strength. Kiss those other things goodbye in terms of priority and follow Christ. As you are willing to do so, trust in Him for restoration. He said,  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33). You’ll get back what you think you’ve lost…and much, much more! Let’s pray!

O God, resplendent in Majesty; May You be our heart’s deepest desire…that nothing of this world would hold more value in our hearts than to walk with You, follow You, serve,You, honor You, and love You. You are our provision and all we need. Praise be to Your Holy Name now and forevermore. Amen!

Advertisements

Categories

%d bloggers like this: