Saturday, May 23, 2009

What Have You Left in the River!

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, that I may gain Christ.

Philippians 3:7-8

When a flock of birds aborted a take off in New York, the plane went down in the Hudson River. Everyone was amazed at the cool headed actions of the pilot and crew. There was no loss of life and the landing and rescue were all caught on tape via security cameras in the area.

Several months later the passengers received, from the airline, the belongings that had been left on the plane and went to the bottom of the river. All of the passengers abandoned personal possessions in favor of saving their lives.

Chickens have “pecking orders” and we prioritize everything in our lives. All day long we sort through thoughts and activities by saying “this is more important than that.” Like the passengers on the plane that went down in the Hudson we abandon some things in order to save other things in our lives. We give up weight loss and preserve the joy of overeating. We abandon exercise for the comfort of being a couch potato.

The importance of one thing is often revealed by the things we give up to keep it.

What have you given up to maintain your relationship with Jesus Christ? The question is not “what would you give up.” The question is “what have you given up?” There is a vast difference in the two questions. Peter declared that he would die for and with Jesus, but did not give up the safety of anonymity on the night that Jesus was arrested.

I suppose you think that I am pompously preaching at you when I ask the question “What have you given up to know Jesus?” Frankly, the question stops me short. In a country where, at least up to now, I am free to believe in Jesus and free to assemble with other believers to worship Him and encourage each other, giving up something to know Jesus has not been part of the equation. Or has it?

When I was first “in love” with Linda my mother challenged me for spending too much time with her. It seems, without realizing it I preferred being with Linda over everything else in my life. We were in college at the time and I did go to class, work my part time job and sleep, but the hours that were left were mostly, if not all, devoted to her.

Have I set aside time for Jesus and faithfully meet with Him each day, or do I look for every spare moment during the day when I can have some more time with Him? You see, I can’t say “I love you Lord” and I’ll see you tomorrow at the same time for my fifteen minutes of devotions. If I love Him I will run after Him all day long. I will seek His face. I will want to hear from Him all the time.

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