What Would You Sacrifice For Christ?

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If you can’t give up a flag, just what WILL you give up for salvation?

The Bible is very clear about something.  God wants your entire life.  Yep.  The whole enchilada.  Every breath you breath, very eye-blink you blink, every gulp you gulp.  Didn’t his Son just die for you?  Yes, yes he did.  So, it’s a fair trade, isn’t it?  Jesus said, “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever
loses their life for me will find it.”- Matt 10

This one verse often trips people up.  They ask, “You mean, Jesus really wants me to kill myself for him?”  and they get all weak in the knees.  What if I told you the answer to that question was, ‘yes’?  Would you do it?  No, of course not.

What if I said what he really meant was that you couldn’t be a mommy or a daddy anymore.  What if it meant that you had to give up your children.  Would you do it then?  No way! right?

What if I told you it meant that Jesus actually wanted you to give up your house and car and give it away to someone really poor.  Would you do it then?  No, of course not, right?

What if I told you that what he really meant was that you had to give up all the clothes in your closet and drawers and then spend $20 to buy all your new clothes at Goodwill and wear those for the next three years.  Would you do it then?  Hmmm….

Would you do it if he meant that you had to quit your incredibly well paying job and become a blog writer for the rest of your life so that you could tell everyone about Jesus- oh, and never make a penny again?  Would you do it then?  hmmm…

What if Jesus really meant that you had to give up all the hair salon appointments for the rest of your life- no cuts, no colors, no manicures, no eyebrow waxes- no nothings- ever?  No make-up forever?  How about no more sports tickets- ever?  No more nights out with the boys?  Ever!

Tough, huh?

Just what did Jesus mean when he said that we had to LOSE OUR LIVES in order to find LIFE?  And what did it mean when he said we had to do it for his sake??  Heck, he isn’t even alive on earth anymore, right?  How can we do it for his sake?  What can we do that could possibly benefit a heavenly being?

Well, let’s just take an example, shall we?  I have just spent the last several weeks talking to people whom I have known to be Christians for many years now.  Each and every one of them would have said, “AMEN!” to the first verse I quoted from the Bible.  Every one of them would have thought in their hearts, “Jesus!  Lord!  I would give my LIFE for you!  If you called upon me, I would lay it down for you, Jesus!”   Yep.  Every single one of ’em- with bursting hearts and all.  I don’t allow non-Christians to comment on my personal page.  Only bonafide, Christ-professing-evangelical-passionate-Jesus-freaks are even allowed to be on my personal Susan Shannon Facebook page!

And yet, when I asked them to lay down a stupid flag for the sake of their Lord, Jesus Christ,  they looked at me with complete incomprehension.  I was apparently speaking a foreign language.  Not one of them would lay it down.  Each of them gripped their greedy hands tighter upon their flags and refused to give up even that teeny, tiny item for their Lord and Savior.  When asked, not one of them could claim that their actions are Godly;  not one of them could find a single Bible verse that showed how their support of that flag is loving, kind, or in fulfillment of God’s Will;  not one of them could justify their hatred toward a sister (that’s me) in Christ just because she challenged them on this matter.

And yet, these so-called Christians who would holler, “Bring it on, Preacher!” at any Sunday church service if Matthew 16:25 were read , acted like animals when asked to relinquish their southern flag.  It was just too important, they claimed.  “It’s History, not Hate!” they chanted.

So, I want to know what they will do when Jesus really does ask for their life?  Because I hate to tell you, People, that is actually something for which he might ask.  What must he think of the betrayal of those who can’t even give him something so little, something so trite?  Folks, words are cheap.  Let’s see some action, ok?

What does it mean to be a Christian? It means to LOVE GOD with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul.  Second, it means to love your neighbor as much as your love yourself.  Jesus said that ALL God’s other commands are wrapped up and understood under these two commands.  If you can’t fit your actions under these two premises, then you are NOT doing that action FOR GOD.  You are doing it for YOU, and thus, for satan.  Period.

And how can you prove you love God?   The Bible says that there is no difference between loving God and obeying God.  Did you know that?  To Love God is to Obey God.  Literally.  “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.” “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.  Whoever says, “I know him,”  but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.   But if anyone obeys his word,   love for God  is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”  1John

I want to admonish and encourage all my Christian friends out there who are really struggling with this confederate flag business.  You need to really think hard about this.  Why are you wasting your energies on this issue?  How does it serve GOD?  And if you can’t answer that question, you  need to take a look at your relationship with God.  Where the heck are you?  Are you right with the Big Man?  Are you ready for Christ’s return?  Are you an obedient child of God?  Do you truly love Christ or are you nothing more than a lukewarm bench warmer at church?  Where do your loyalties lie?  Whom do you serve?

I know whom I serve.  See, I don’t care if every single one of my readers walks off my page over this flag.  Because I look at it and I can see it clearly.  From a political standpoint- the answer is clear.  It can’t fly anywhere paid for with tax payer money.  It simply doesn’t represent all tax payers.  It only represents white southerners.  And only some of them.  Anyone can legally fly whatever flag they want on private property.   But this has never been about the law.  This is about God and slavery.  We are his slaves.  We were bought at a price:  the blood of his dear Son.  We don’t get to just flaunt our freedoms.  Choose whom you serve, Christians of America.  [I, for one, refuse to give a ‘hyphen’ to Southerners.  You aren’t Southerner-Americans.  The war’s over- you are just Americans.]  So, choose your God.  Is it the Confederate Flag or is it God?  I, for one, pick God.  I pray you choose wisely. 

7 comments

  1. I wanted to comment on the “works do not equal salvation” issue. I agree with that. We are saved independent of our works so none can boost in their good works . HOWEVER, the deepest desire of a true Christians heart should not be to get away with the bare minimum requirements of salvation. The deepest desire should be to hear the words someday “well done my good and faithful one”. Those words are NOT heard by all Christians upon entering the gates of heaven. Those words are reserved for those who walked the walk, talked the talk, served those in need, loved those most difficult to love. Humbled themselves to admit wrongdoing. We should not be satisfied with bare minimum salvation. Or lukewarm Christianity. Jesus said that the lukewarm Christians, or those satisfied with bare minimum salvation are actually WORSE than a non-believer because they defile Christianity. Christ will say to them “Depart from me, I never knew you”. I love your work Susan. Keep it up!!!

    • Indeed, Paula. We should all yearn for those words. In fact, Christ said he wanted to spit out the lukewarm church. I believe he also meant the lukewarm Christian. I don’t think that anyone who is lukewarm has the Spirit of God in him. I will never forget how Jesus said that the path to God is covered over and that ‘very’ few are on it. He said VERY few- not just a ‘few’. Very few. I don’t think that includes lukewarm people. I don’t. People are so unafraid of God and his judgment. They truly believe that salvation is easy. I don’t think it is. People think that ‘believing’ and ‘faith’ is easy. It’s not. Truly believing and having faith aren’t easy. Giving up your life is not easy. I happen to believe that ‘believing’ and ‘giving up your life’ are one in the same- or they are very closely related. If your faith is sincere, then it should result in the complete giving over of your life. If it doesn’t, then I have to question your belief, or faith in Christ. There is the intellectual level of understanding that Christ died for you, but that isn’t the same as ‘belief’ and real ‘faith’, I don’t think. Even satan knows this fact- and he isn’t ‘saved’. There is a ‘giving over of oneself’ in the true act of belief, in the true act of faith- there is a commitment of one’s entire life to the servitude of God. We commit our lives to the slavery of God. Without that component of belief and faith, then it is merely knowledge, intellectual knowledge of what Christ has done for us. Again, satan has that. And he is not saved. People can have this knowledge, I believe, and not be saved. I believe there are many such people in churches today. They know what Christ has done for them like satan does. But they have not given over their lives to Christ. And thus, they are not saved by faith. What faith have they given? What risk have they taken that faith is needed? One must take a risk to need faith, right? It is when one gives over their entire life to God that they take THE ULTIMATE risk with their life. Thus, they rely only on faith that God will care for them. THIS is how salvation is received. That is not a ‘work’. This is the exchange.

  2. As a citizen of the great United States who fortunately gets to live in the South, I fully agree that we should not uphold this symbol of a past that is not pleasant and certainly nothing to be glorified. However, I would also like to add that the South is not really the heartless group of really stupid people as are portrayed via television through the media and through stereotypically ridiculous characters on television programs. The majority of Southerners actually get along with their neighbors, go to church, and pray (and work) for the betterment of our country. It is very disheartening to be viewed in the harsh and critical light that others across our nation paint us as being. We, as a rule, do not do that to you all, so why are we not afforded the same courtesy? Just a few thoughts from Mississippi.

    • Hi Southerner, I know you are right. I was raised in VA as a kid. I know many people who live ‘down south’. These people are exceptions. I did not expect to find this on my page. I am completely floored. But I am not sorry this has happened. I fully believe that God wanted this to come out to the light. It is something we Christians need to own. We need to cut it out and disown it. It’s time.

  3. I just want to clarify the caption on the picture – you aren’t saying salvation requires giving things up are you? Because salvation is completely independent of our works. Just wanted to make sure that we agree on that.

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