A Life Without Strife

Philippians 2:1-5 (KJV)

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let his mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

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The Only Way

Genesis 3:20-24 (KJV)

And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

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Why Following Christ Isn’t the Choice of Everyone

 
Luke 11:33-36 (NASB)

“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”

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A Promise Above All Other Promises

Luke 18:28-30 (NASB)

Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Not all the promises you are given are the same. Some promises are more important than others. Some have deeper implications and are inviolable. In this text, Jesus gives a promise above all other promises. Remember the context: In Luke 18:18-27 a rich young ruler came to the Lord, fell on his knees, and worshiped Him saying, “Good Teacher, what can I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Go, sell all you have, give it to the poor, then come follow Me.” This rich young ruler looked around and said, “No.” Three things will usually keep us from receiving the reign of Christ over us: religion, reputation, and riches.

  1. Choosing Jesus’ Kingdom as the priority of my life means I must let go.
    “Behold, we have left our own and followed You” (v. 28). The word homes is added by the translators. Peter said, “We have left our own” (house, wife, family, job, etc.). Why? For the sake of Christ’s reign. What I own, I let go. He now owns. What I have is no longer mine. I am a steward of the true Owner. This “leaving” is not a lack of charity, it is state of priority. Christ comes before anyone and anything.
    1. This choice to let go always involves a loss – I transfer ownership. I might lose friends, fame, fortune or prestige, people, and possessions. It’s a loss because we leave. Someone asks you to go get drunk; you leave. You are at a gossip bashing party; you walk out. Someone invites you to participate in something you know is immoral, unethical or harmful; you say, “I’m sorry, but I must go.” How can you make a choice to let go?
    2. This choice to let go involves following a boss – (“Take up your cross and follow Me”). For the sake of the kingdom of God – for the sake of the reign of Jesus in your life. I receive His reign in my life as a baby receives his mother – with trust, appreciation, affection, etc...
       
  2. Choosing Jesus’ Kingdom as the priority of my life means I receive a promise from the King.
    Jesus says that when I let go, I gain so much more. I let go of ownership, He gives me so much more.
     
    The Promise: Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life” (Luke 18:29-30).
     
    1. This is an all-inclusive promise – “No one who has left … will not receive many times more.”
      No person who receives the reign of Christ is exempt from this promise. All receive it.
    2. This is an immediate promise – “…who will not receive many times as much at this time…”
      My promise for those who give up what they hold dearest for Christ: there will be real, true happiness for them right now, and in the world to come unspeakable joy will be their portion. Jesus said, “I’ve come that you might have a life worth living; a life lived to its fullest (Jn. 10:10).
      1. For your eternal soul.
        Come, sell all that you have and buy the Pearl of Great Price, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will find everything your soul needs in Him; perfect righteousness and full acceptance.
      2. For your physical sustenance.
        “My God will supply everything you need according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19).
      3. For your current situation.
        With God working all things for your good (Romans 8:28), all that’s needed is perspective.
    3. This is an eternal promise – “and in the age to come, eternal (immortal) life” (vs. 30).
      Those who aren’t looking forward to immortal life have never experienced real joy in this life.
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