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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pursuing Jesus' Most Hated Teaching

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People like hearing about God's love and grace and mercy. You see them flocking en masse in churches that teach nothing but these three and related matters.

And indeed, God is rich in love, in grace and in mercy. In fact, God is love. But all these will have true meaning only in the context of Jesus' most hated teaching---giving up everything.

If not, they will remain mere motivational topics to keep people comfortable and challenge them to do more in church---not offer their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.

Offer Our Bodies

This is the whole point of worship and service---to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. What do we mean by living sacrifices? It does not mean tiring ourselves out in ministry doing this and that, going here and there, being seen on stage and being super active in church.

The passage says, "offering our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship."

Holy and acceptable to God. See that?

Without this, anything we do in church becomes a thing for fun clubs or cause oriented groups. The main reason for church is the offering, just as it was in the temple in the Old Testament.

Without the offering, everything is silly nonsense.

There were gold utensils, furnishings and implements in the temple used in worship, but they were not the reason why the temple was built. They were all used to help the worshiper with his offering.

Today, church people fuss with gold utensils, furnishings, implements and the temple. They spend all their energies and resources on them---but not on the offering.

No right offering, no worship.

YOU are the offering---your life and character.

Give Up!

Problem is, in God's eyes, only the offering matters. Only the quality of our lives and how we keep our bodies holy and acceptable to him are important.

And how do we make offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable?

ANSWER: By giving up everything---sin, ego, rights and privileges, worldliness and especially possessions.

He told his disciples: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." [Luke 12.33]

This was among the things the Acts church did.

There were no needy ones among them, because those who owned lands or houses would sell their property, bring the proceeds from the sales, and lay them at the apostles' feet for distribution to anyone as he had need.

You have to give up all, sometimes even your church ministry if it doesn't help you offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

If your church helps you feel okay even if you have a rotten character or enjoying sin, it is against Jesus' most hated teaching---which is giving up everything.

Today, churches teach how you can enjoy a relationship with God without having to give up anything. They don't preach on what you need to get rid in your life but merely motivate you on how to have a better church.

GOD's Flesh: And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! [Job 19,26-17]

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