When I was growing up, there was a commercial that said, “What would you do—ooo—ooo for a Klondike bar?” (This was back in the day when you couldn’t fast forward through commercials. You either had to watch them or walk all the way across the room to change the channel.) Accompanying this catchy jingle was the story of a person performing some outlandish dramatic challenge just to be able to enjoy a block of vanilla ice cream slathered in dark chocolate. The point: they loved Klondike bars so much that they would do ANYTHING to enjoy one. I haven’t thought about this commercial for awhile, but it popped back into my head the other day when my brother and I were having a conversation about the need to make sacrifices to follow Jesus. I know, this isn’t exactly a popular blog topic. Actually, it’s not a topic we hear a lot about anymore. Sadly, we live in a day where too many people who say they love Jesus hold more to the words of another popular tune from the nineties: “I would do anything for love—-but I won’t do that.” We live in a day where too many Christians believe it is is okay to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they will obey. Instead, we talk about our rights..our freedoms…and the liberties we have in Christ. Meanwhile, we’ve abandoned and deemed old-fashioned the principle of taking up your cross and following Jesus. Yet, that is exactly what the Bible has called us to do. 1 John 2:2-6 says:
Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments.
If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar.
His life doesn’t match his words.
But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love.
This is the only way to be sure we’re in God.
Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.
I love the way that last verse reads—-if we claim to be intimate with God—-if we say we really love Him, then we need to be willing to live as Jesus lived.
I love that this verse don’t boil it down to a list of do’s and don’t’s. The writer doesn’t make it about Heaven or Hell—-instead, he makes it a matter of love.
Do you LOVE Jesus enough to sacrifice?
Do you LOVE Jesus enough to obey?
Is your relationship with Jesus worth living like Jesus did?
What does that last phrase mean?
First, it means that we obey God’s laws.
In everything that He did, Jesus knew God’s Word and applied it to every area of His life.
Secondly, He submitted His plans to God’s will for His life.
Even though He didn’t want to face the agony of the cross, Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Matthew 26:39)
Finally, He was willing to give up everything and anything to see God’s will done on earth and to bring people into relationship with God.
Today, in 2018, this is the same attitude that God wants to see in all of us.
That’s where the rubber meets the road—in our answer to the question, “What are you willing to give up for Jesus?”
What are you willing to sacrifice?
Are you willing to confess and overcome your favorite sin because the Bible says it interferes with your relationship with God?
Will you sacrifice your rights to a gray area because it offends another person or could cause them to fall into sin in your own life?
Are you willing to do ANYTHING to be a light in a dark world and be a positive reflection of what it means to walk with Jesus?
I think that all of us need to take time periodically and ask ourselves these questions.
What am I willing to give up for Jesus?
Am I so passionate about Him that I’d give up anything just because I loved Him and wanted to do His will?
Personally, I want to love Jesus more than the people in the commercial loved Klondike bars. As I’m faced with decisions—-choices to compromise or submit to God's Word, to demand my rights or surrender them for the sake of the Gospel, to walk a harder path because I know it’s God’s will for my life—-these are the roads I want to take.
What about you? Is there an area of your life where you need to answer the question: “What would you do—ooh—ooh because you love Jesus?”