Daniel Webster—the dictionary guy—once said, “The most important thought that ever occupied my mind is that of my individual responsibility to God.”
As I think about that truth, I think Daniel nailed one of the most important motivations of the Christian heart. Webster’s quote is a message to all followers of Jesus, especially as the American Church’s expectation of believers continues to decrease.
I say this because many believers have the attitude that Jesus forgives us of all our sins, gives us eternal life, and wants us to not embarrass ourselves as Christians. Then instead of following His will, we follow our game plan toward a happy and enjoyable life.
I know I have personally grieved my Savior’s heart so many times because I thought my happiness was more important than His will. It’s not that I don’t intend to do what Christ wants of me, but my attitude often reflects a willingness to put my priorities over His.
Here are a few things we will be accountable for that are not suggestions but commands for God’s glory and our highest good:
- “‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness ... .’” -Matthew 6:33
- “... offer your bodies as a living sacrifice ... .” -Romans 12:1
- “‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts ... .’” -Hebrews 3:15
- “‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’” -Luke 9:23
- “‘Come, follow me … and I will send you out to fish for people.’” -Matthew 4:19
You get the point. I know those verses and so do you, but too often we don’t live them out. That’s the scary part.
In our hearts, our beloved Savior is shouting for us to step out in His love and trust Him, and then see Him go to work in and through your broken self. I believe the depth of our surrender to these words is directly related to how much we really believe Jesus loves us.
Oh, that we would abandon ourselves to the only true lover of our souls, knowing that if we win or lose, live or die, succeed or fail, we will know a joy that is unexplainable, unfathomable, and unimaginable because of the overflowing presence of God in our lives.
Today, He whispers to each of us to trust Him because He loves us. It's as if He's saying, “My beloved, trust Me.” The fight of our hearts is to daily ask God how we can please Him most. We must be driven to abide in His love so we may bear much fruit for the glory of our Father (John 15:7-8).
Abandonment is where Jesus meets each of us, and He perfectly modeled abandonment to the Father’s will for us. Though He was rich, He became poor so that we might become rich with the indwelling presence of God (2 Corinthians 8:9).
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.