Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Discipleship #11: Our Concerns

Since God’s responsibility is to take care of all our needs, as I explained in the previous article in this Discipleship series,  then what should be our concerns as Christians?  Let’s consider them now. 

Live for God’s glory

  First, we should live our lives to the praise of God’s glory. Ephesians 1:12 “That we should be to the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ.”   That is, when people observe our attitude, speech and conduct, they should think well of Christ whom we represent.   As the conduct of children reflects on their parents,  so our conduct as Christians reflects for good or for evil on God who saved us. 

Seek Christ’s Kingdom

A second major concern for us as Christians is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. When our concern is for Christ’s Kingdom in our lives,  then God takes the responsibility for all our personal concerns.  That’s the promise of Matthew 6:33  We enter Christ’s Kingdom by recognizing we are sinners and slaves in Satan’s kingdom and trusting in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.  Through the new birth we are delivered from the slavery of Satan’s kingdom and we enter the Kingdom of Christ.  Study John 3:3-5  and  Colossians 1:13.  We pray for His Kingdom to be fulfilled in our lives and in this world as we pray from our hearts The Lord’s Prayer.   See my series on PROPHECY for more on this topic.  Being in Christ’s Kingdom involves bowing to the rule of Christ as we surrender to Him as our Lord.  Matthew  6:24 makes it clear that none of us live our own independent lives, as we think we do; but all of us are under the rule of either Christ or Satan.  Mammon represents all the things of this present evil world system which are under the rule of Satan. 

Accept God’s standard of righteousness

A third major concern  is to reject our self-righteousness that falls short of God’s standards  and  seek to live by His standards as revealed in His Word.  Romans 8:1-4  shows us that God’s standard of righteousness can only be achieved as we live surrendered to God’s indwelling Holy Spirit.   Philippians 3:10-15  shows us the mind-set that we must have if we are to grow in spiritual maturity.  It takes an attitude of genuine humility as we understand that we can never attain perfection in this life; nevertheless, perfection is our goal which will one day be achieved when we stand in God’s presence in Heaven. 

Be Christ’s faithful ambassador

A fourth major concern for us as Christians is to be Christ’s ambassadors, faithfully representing Him to the world  and faithfully sharing the Gospel with the lost.  This is the challenge of II Corinthians 5:14-21.  Our message to the lost is found in  5:19-21. There we read that God’s plan of reconciliation includes the crucial truth that  God saves us by imputing our sins to Christ who bore the full penalty for them on the cross.

This message also includes the truth that Jesus perfect righteousness is imputed to those sinners who confess they are sinners and  who accept by faith Christ’s righteousness as being put to their account.  Through faith in Christ whose blood was shed as an atonement for our sins, we are justified and declared perfectly righteous.  Christ’s righteousness is our only plea.   There is more to the truth of our salvation, including the wonderful doctrines of sanctification and glorification,  but the basis of our salvation is justification,   Study my series of messages on SALVATION  on this web site for more on these wonderful truths.  

Before we leave this topic, let’s focus on two words in Matthew 6:33.

  

Seek

 If we are to fulfill our concerns we must seek first the Kingdom of Christ and His righteousness.   Note that word SEEK.  When we search for something of value, we don’t just look for it.  We seek it.   We seek it diligently. We don’t stop searching until we find it.  

The theme of Hebrews 11 is genuine faith.  There we learn that we must diligently seek God. Saving faith is not simply intellectual assent.  It is not simply a passing emotional experience.  Saving faith comes only to those who diligently seek to know God. It is coming to God with our whole heart.   In Philippians 3 we have a clear contrast of the religious life of Paul before he was saved and the supernatural change that took place after he was saved.  In verses 1-6  Paul talks about his life before he met Christ  and then verse 7-15  We read of his total transformation as He sought to know Christ as a Christian. 

Before he was saved,  religion was just his vain self effort to attain righteousness.  After he met Christ,  his life was radically changed.  Now his life was a life-long search to know the fullness of Christ in his life.  Though he never attained perfection in his lifetime, it was his constant goal to know Christ intimately.  That’s what it means to seek for Christ with all our heart.

  

First

The other word we need to emphasize is the word FIRST.  We are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  In the Ten Commandments recorded in Exodus 20 God declares He is a jealous God and has a right, as our Creator and Redeemer to our exclusive worship and service.    In Matthew 22:37-38  Jesus takes it a step further by  commanding that we love God with all our heart, soul and mind.    In Luke 14:25-27  Jesus makes it clear that not even our families can come before our loyalty and devotion to Christ.  As someone has said,  “He must be Lord of ALL or He is not Lord AT ALL.” In Luke 9:57-62 Jesus asks for total allegiance.  If our attitude is “ME FIRST!”  then we know nothing of total surrender to Christ. Are Christ’s concerns your concerns?  Or are you so concerned with your own desires and needs that  you have no room in your heart for Him?  Do you want to see  God at work in your life?  Put Him to the test.   Seek Him first with all your heart and watch Him begin to meet every need of your life: material, physical, emotional and spiritual. He has been faithful to me for over seventy-three years, fifty of those years in the ministry. Trust Him.  Put Him first in your life. He will be faithful to you. 

August 31, 2006 - Posted by | Discipleship

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