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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quiet Time: Walk Away

Walk Away

Read: Matthew 9:14-17

“Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
– Matthew 9:16

We must turn our back on our past if we are to follow Christ; He isn’t interested in anything we left behind.

I know men who want to be considered moral and forthright by their peers without actually living honorable sincere lives. One guy  I know actually sells (legal) pornographic videos from his home and then complains about his grand-kids being perverted good for nothings who get viruses on his computers from the illicit websites they visit. Well, duh!

Now, I’m not poking at anybody here. I know I’m no better than the worst sinner out there. I got saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) just like everyone else who believes in Jesus. However, if we came to Christ from a past of doing everything our own way, for our own good, and in our own good time; those days are over. If we were drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, swindlers, and cheats; those days are gone. If we were hyper religious, followers of traditional form and function but without a true love for God or people through the indwelling Christ we were hypocrites; those days are done too. My dad used to say, “Don’t get religion; get a relationship.” Anybody, good, bad, or indifferent, can be religious, but only a man or woman who loves Jesus can have a relationship.

Jesus had to set some of the hyper religious people straight. Matthew, a tax collector, was just called by Jesus to be one of His closest friends. Back then, tax collectors were hated by the Hebrews as traitors and slum lords. But, Matthew walked away from tax collecting and everything in his past to follow Jesus. Apparently that wasn't good enough for the religious nuts surrounding him at the banquet he gave in Jesus honor. To make matters worse, Matt invited several of his buddies to the feast. Not your typical party crowd of dignitaries mind you, most of his friends were from the red light district. But, I guess Matthew figured, if Jesus could change him, he could change anybody...and Jesus did...and still does. But, Jesus didn't want religious followers. Jesus wanted and still wants, a relationship. A living breathing, let Me into your heart forever covenant.

The fact is: No one gets married in order to act single; that’s silly…no, that's stupid. We turn our back on our singleness, our past, in order to begin a new life with our new love.

So, if we’ve truly begun a walk, journey, relationship with Jesus, perhaps we should ask ourselves one question, “Do I love Him?” If our answer is, “Yes”, then our next question is simple, “How do I please Him?”

We can’t please Jesus without leaving our past behind. A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways (James 1:8) and we can't leave our past behind without sacrifice. I think that's what Jesus meant when He said, "Take up your cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23)

Walk away; flat out, firmly, finally.

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