23. Eph. 5: 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us (NKJV) (Unless otherwise indicated

April 9, 2020

The Cost of Discipleship

Ephesians 4: 29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 5: 1 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

I want to start this post by saying, there a are few things in this life we have control over. For instance, with this current pandemic (COVID-19) affecting our world today. Some Christians seem to think that because we are children of God, we won’t be harmed by an earthquake, or a tornado, or even a tsunami. We tend to think because we are saints, we can just plead the blood of Christ, pray in the name of Jesus, and all calamities will just pass us by. Well, I’m about to say something many of you will not want to hear, but first, let’s have a word from our LORD Jesus.

Matt. 5: 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

For many of us, it’s so hard to love someone who’s mistreated you. It’s even hard for some Christians to love at all. Even those who hold the title of Apostles, Prophets, Preachers, Teachers, and Evangelist. So don’t look at me as if I’m speaking some type of heresy…you know this is true. Jesus called them hypocrites and vipers. But that is not what I want to focus on. In Matthew 5: 45, he said: “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” The LORD is comparing unbelievers with Believers. If an unbeliever and a Believer stood outside on a sunny day or a rainy day, they both will feel the sun on their skin and get wet in the rain. Yes, we do have the promises of our heavenly Father in our corner, however, we need to discern what is faith, foolishness, or presumption.

Matt. 4: 5 “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

Christians and non-Christians are dying all over the world because of the coronavirus. It’s invisible to the naked eye. When it comes to sunlight or rain, you have a certain amount of control; just don’t go outside. The sun nor the rain does not discriminate between ethnicity, culture, or religion. It is easy to avoid the sun and rain because of our senses. On the other hand, this virus cannot be discerned by our senses, at least not until we’re experiencing the symptoms.

Even Jesus implied that it would not be a good idea to put His Father to the test. That was His faith speaking. He would be foolish to presume that just because He was the Son of God angels would catch Him in mid-air. The same is true of us as Christians, and very few of us have come close to actually imitating the Son of God…let’s just be honest. This virus is real. Therefore, do not put the LORD our God to the test. Wash your hands one hundred times a day if need be, practice social distancing, and if you must go out, wear some type of covering for your nose and mouth, and wear gloves also if you have them. Avoid large gatherings such as Church, trust me, it will not diminish your faith in any way. In fact, by practicing these things we show just how much our faith is working by love. Study your Bible; especially Romans 14. Paul explains in a nutshell that by you showing off how great your faith is can cause your brother whose faith may not be as strong to stumble. In other words, just because you are not sick doesn’t mean you can’t contaminate someone else and get them sick. Now, I will sandwich this post with these words, and for the love of  God,,,stay safe.

Ephesians 4: 29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

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