You can’t do life for Jesus if you won’t do life with Jesus. We must remember that although life with Jesus is risky, it’s the best way to live. Do something brave: take a quick inventory of your life right now and ask yourself these questions. Where are you finding your safety and security lately? Are there any areas of your life where you need to rethink where your safety and security are rooted? As you reflect on your answers to those questions, take some time to read over Matthew 6:9-13. Make that your prayer today as you continue aligning your life to reflect the Kingdom of God.
Theologian Thomas Merton once said, “Life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.” When ease and comfort, safety, and security rank supreme in our hearts—when these become the end we live for—we miss the Kingdom of God. We read in Luke 19:1-9 about a man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus had no clue what stood on the other side of this faith-filled step, but he did it anyway! He chose to follow Jesus no matter the risk or cost. What is one bold step that you believe God has been leading you to take? As you pray today, ask God to help you make that faith-filled step.
Comfort isn’t in the stuff we own, but in God alone; Safety isn’t found in the life we create, but in God alone; Security isn’t found in our achievement, but in God alone; Ease isn’t found in our hard work, but in God alone. In moments where it is easy to trust in the flashy power of the American Dream, we can find hope and truth in scripture. One such reminder can is found in Psalm 73:23-26. Make a list of all the things that are valuable in your life. As you hold that list in your hands, ask the Lord to help you remember what truly matters most at the end of the day. Thank Him for His provision and faithfulness.
Can you imagine what it would be like to sit at the dinner table with Jesus? What would that conversation be like? Jesus would likely consider himself an honored guest because He loves spending time with you. He loves every opportunity to know you and to be known by you. With our fast-paced worldly glory reaching tunnel-vision, sometimes we forget what it’s like to sit and focus on who Jesus is and how we can follow His ways. After reading the invitation found in Colossians 3:1-3 to focus on Christlike thoughts, take a moment to pray and ask the Lord to help you focus on what matters most to Him.
We can be captivated with Jesus, love his teachings, go to church weekly, yet our lives can show no semblance of Jesus sitting on the throne of our heart, or having first place in our life and lifestyle. The Rich Young Ruler mentioned in Mark 10:17-23 discovered very quickly that liking Jesus costs us nothing, but following Jesus will cost us everything. Take a moment to seek the Lord’s guidance in prayer for your next right step when it comes to your pursuit of safety and security in Him. Then, reach out to a trusted friend and ask them to check in with you from time to time to help you stay on the right track!
TALK IT OVER
- What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?
- What is the benefit/detriment of Black Friday in your opinion?
- Do you typically budget how much you’re spending on Christmas gifts?
- An African bishop once stated, “America has been taken captive by the spirit of comfort and ease.” What are your thoughts on that statement?
- If Jesus stood before you today and asked you to sell all your possessions, would you respond more like The Rich Young Ruler or Zacchaeus?
- What is the benefit/cost of pursuing the ‘American Dream,’ in your opinion?
- What is the benefit/cost of pursuing the Kingdom of God, in your opinion?
- In what ways can we focus more on the Kingdom of God this week?