I’ve been preaching through the book of Luke on Sunday mornings and evenings. For my part, it has been a great study. Oftentimes we have an understanding of who Jesus is and what He did. For the most part we know the big picture: He died for our sins and rose again on the third day. But often we are unaware of the many facets of His teaching that should impact our lives.
A slow, thorough reading of the gospel reveals that Jesus’ demands on our lives are very high. His expectation for our kingdom involvement is rather startling. He warns … “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say” (Luke 6:46); “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23); “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62); “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Luke 10:23); “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3); “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
There are several more verses like those in the gospel of Luke; but even that short sample reveals that Jesus’ demands on our lives are complete. Jesus is not interested in part-time followers. He is not interested in casual believers.
The reason is because He knows what is at stake. Unlike us, He understands the deceptive nature of the Enemy, and the eternal loss of not living in the Light. He came to die in our place for a reason. Nothing short of eternity is at stake.
We may think all is fine, but Jesus is screaming from eternity. He is yelling with all His might so that He may get our attention. He loves us so much that He wants us to hear and understand. He wants us to embrace Him with every fiber of our being. He wants to save us to the uttermost.
He said, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day (the day of judgment) come on you unexpectedly” (Luke 21:34). Please don’t let that happen. Jesus died for you because He loves you more than you will ever know. There is no reason to be distracted by the “cares of this life.” If we are caught off guard, it is despite the efforts of Jesus to get our attention.
The simple answer is to embrace Him, live for Him, love Him, obey Him, and follow Him. Let Him be everything to you. You are everything to Him.