"I grew up on a reservation in South Dakota, filled with resentment and anger toward the white man." These were the words of a man sitting next to me at a banquet. He shared with me that even in the midst of his anger God had brought him into a relationship with Jesus. He went on to say that he desired to walk the way of Jesus, but was unwilling to forgive the white man. Jesus, however, revealed to him that this was not an option. He then turned and looked me in the eye and said, "So I have forgiven the white man." As tears welled up in my eyes, I said, "Thank you."
As my new friend reminded me, Jesus’ Way has demands. Can I choose which ones to follow? I love the benefits that Jesus offers, but at times reject His out-right demands. He says outrageous things like,
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44 NIV)
Don’t store up for yourself treasures on earth… But store up for yourself treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-20 NIV)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry……… (Matthew 6:25 NIV)
I don’t particularly like some of the things Jesus demands. They run counter to my nature. Yet I want His commands to be my desire. His commands are not optional. The true benefits come in the delight of obedience. Will you join me this week in seeking to obey everything He has commanded?