Confession time. I am guilty.
Guilty of what, you ask?
Guilty of conforming the words of Jesus to fit my preferences and feelings. Guilty of justifying my choices by not fully applying the words of Jesus to my life. Guilty of manipulating what Jesus said so it becomes less offensive to me and to others. Guilty of not listening and obeying what Jesus said.
So are you.
Read these words of Jesus. Together we will confess our guilt.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.(John 12:25)
We love this life. We justify our love for what this world offers us with misapplied Scriptures about pleasure and prosperity. We do not fully believe that abundance in life requires death to this world’s system of life. We choose to reject, in varying degrees, the principle that we must not love the world or the things of the world or the love of the Father is not in us. (1 John 2:15) We believe that we can both love God and love what the world offers us.
My friends, let me be clear. God loves to bless those who love Him. Yet our love for God must NEVER be motivated by personal gain. We must never add our love for God to a pre-existing love for personal gratification. We must die to self and all the pursuits of self-enhancement, and completely depend upon the love of God for all we need and want.
Many of you are already doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out a way to protect the personal kingdom you have built for yourself. May the Holy Spirit tear down the walls of your city and show you the joyous and glorious eternal life you can already experience if your love for the world is put to death.