Leaving Everything

Living for God is guaranteed to be hard. God didn't promise the life of a Christian to be easy or painless. No! As Christians, we will go through many trials and face many obstacles for Christ. For some of us, that may mean being physically or verbally persecuted for our faith. For others, that may mean not fitting in, getting teased for our faith, or losing friends. Whatever trials we go through, we should know one thing:

If we want to follow God, we have to leave everything else behind.

We can't let other things distract us from the big picture. We can't let other people and things distract us from God. As I said, sometimes it's really hard following God. If we truly want to follow Him, though, we have to leave everything, trust wholeheartedly in Him, and take the risk of following Him, fully knowing that it will be hard.

My youth pastor of three years moved away with his family today. While it breaks my heart that they are leaving, I am eternally grateful (not like the three-eyed aliens on Toy Story, mind you) for the impact my youth pastor had on my (and many others') life. I distinctly remember a time when he had tears in his eyes as he was talking about leaving everything for Christ. I remember him saying this:

"Take my family, take my house - I want Christ!"

I used to not know what the phrase "take up your cross and follow Christ" meant, but now I do. It means that we have to die to ourselves. It means that we need to take whatever is standing in the way of us and Jesus and give it to Him. We need to acknowledge the sins that are without-a-doubt in our lives and beg for forgiveness from God.

Luke 9:23-26 says:
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

I've been reading through the book of 2 Timothy for Bible Bee, and it is such a great book of the Bible. 2 Timothy is a letter that Paul wrote to Timothy. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

Following Jesus won't be easy, but know this...

It will be totally and completely worth it.
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Mikailah  – (August 6, 2012 at 5:23 PM)  

This is so true, Talia. SO true. He never said following Him would be easy--but like you said, it will be totally worth it. :)

Thanks for sharing this, dear!

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Girlz of God Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. "Genuine," "Girlz of God," and "Tania's Faith" book excerpts Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. All pictures Copyright Talia DeAndrea, unless otherwise noted. Please do not steal or copy anything on this blog without my permission. Thank you :-).

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