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(It Don't Take All That!!!)

SCRIPTURE - MATT. 22:36 - 37                                                           NOVEMBER, 2003

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.


Have you ever been in a conversation, concerning Christian behavior and beliefs, and some one, maybe even yourself uttered the words, 'It don't take all that?' The all that, refers to the fact that many people, mainly Christians, carry a view that, just because a person names the name of Christ, they don't have to go to the extremes of behavior to be in right standing with God, or in other words, be or, live righteous.

The belief today, in most, and I do mean, most, churches, is that living a righteous, and sanctified life, is strictly, a choice that is made by those that want to go to the extreme edge of Christian life. Those that choose to live that type of life, are usually ridiculed, and called names like, 'Jesus Freaks, Holy Rollers, or Religious Fanatics.' Lump all of these together, and you get the group name, 'Religious Right.'

Now, the reasons for this line of thinking, are varied, but they usually originate from an ignorance of just what it is that God is calling for us to be.

Notice the words in the subject verse. These are the words of Jesus Christ, to all of us. It is the greatest commandment that God has for us.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL THY HEART.
This part of the commandment gives us the framing of what our lifestyle should be.

ALL THY HEART. That means it is a total commitment, from the deepest, innermost, part of our being. Our very core.

A love like this is deeper than the love we have for any human being, whether it is a parent, child or spouse. It seeks to never offend, or displease. It seeks to do the will of God, first and foremost, despite what others may think about it.

If we look at the life of Jesus, we will see the perfect example of what this life is about. Jesus always, without question, sought to be pleasing to the Father. His will was to do the will of Him who sent Him [John 4:34] Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

What made Jesus happy, was doing what the Father said was pleasing to Him.

Many Christians today, seem to have the idea, that the only thing they need to do, concerning the Father, is, go to church once in a while, give a little change in the offering, and maybe, just maybe, do a good deed, once in a while. Anything above that, and they have a problem. It is taking too much of their time and demanding too much from them personally.

Listen, if they are putting what they feel, ahead of what God says, then, I question if they even know what being saved is all about. If they prayed the sinner's prayer of repentance, and asked Christ to come in to their heart, and be Lord of their life, then they take the attitude of, 'I'll do what I want to, when I want to', then Jesus is not Lord of their life, it's that simple. And if that is the case, they aren't saved.

Lord, means master. And if He is the master, then they are the servant. And what servant rebels against his master, and stays unpunished?

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul. This second part of the great commandment, carries with it, the idea that they are so in Love with God, that they actually are hurt in their soul, when they realize that they have not done what is pleasing to God.

Have you ever lost a loved one?? Do you remember the sorrow you felt??? Well, the sorrow you feel when you realize that you have fallen short of what God, asks (or really commands) of you, is like that. Whatever God asks, you take it as a command. You so want to please God, that to do otherwise, is not an option. It's just like that sweetheart that you had, that you always went out of your way to please. Whatever their wish was, that was your command. Well, do you put them ahead of God?? These people do. They put their feelings, their family, and their friends ahead of God. It's like, trying to have your cake, and eat it too, it won't work.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind. This last part of the scripture, carries with it the connotation of that part of man that controls the flesh.

And here is where the real battle lies. For it is the flesh that is the most devious part of man. That's right, the flesh. The flesh can't do anything unless the mind directs it to. Yet, because of the flesh, the mind gives in to it, and just goes along with it.

Have you ever known somebody, or been in a position that, even though you or they were in control of a situation, they or you ended up being controlled by that situation?? Sure you have. I know that I have.

Jesus has told us that He has given us power, over all of the power of the enemy [Luke 10:19], and we are told to resist the devil [Jas 4:7]. Yet, time and time again, we fall in to the very thing that we were delivered from, because the flesh has deceived us in to thinking we can't live, or do without it.

When looking at sin, as far as the works of the flesh are concerned, Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,
we see that here are all the things that the flesh loves.

And it is these things that, when faced with giving them up, that many Christians will balk at the idea, and respond with, 'It don't take all that!!!'

But, just in case you missed it, look at the underlined part of the scripture above says. If you intend to inherit the kingdom of God, then you have to abstain from all, I repeat a.... l...... l....... all of them. Yes,'it does take all of that.' In order to do this, we are admonished to walk in (or after) the Spirit, and we won't fulfill the lusts of the flesh [Gal 5:16].

The only way for the Christian to be victorious in their life, is to walk as close to God as possible, and that can only be done if they are walking in the Spirit. It takes all that.

The call of the Christian is one of walking in righteousness, holiness and sanctification, and that means that we must mortify, or kill the deeds of the flesh [Rom 8:13]. We must, renew our minds [Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.]

Now, a person that doesn't think it takes all of that, is at a disadvantage.

The disadvantage is, that they will be missing out on all of the blessings that God has in store for them that seek to do all that they can, to please Him. For the bible says, God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him [Heb. 11:6]. That, seeking Him, means to get to know what He wants for our lives, and then begin to pursue those things. While the flesh, wants to seek to please only itself.

We can't have it both ways, because the bible says, the flesh is an enemy of God [Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.] Being carnally minded, is another term for walking after the flesh, or in other instances, being a friend of the world.

Now it should be plain to you, that if you are an enemy of God, then how in the world do you think you are going to enjoy the blessings He has for those that obey Him?? Do you think God is stupid???

Those that call themselves Christians, and say 'it doesn't take all that', have fewer victories over things that come against them, than those that walk in the will of God. Whether it be sickness, disease, infirmity, financial problems, marriage, prosperity or whatever, they never see any of these problems eliminated supernaturally. Now, they can go to doctors, therapists, psychologists and the like, and spend all of their money, getting treatments and the like, and may get some relief, but it is nothing like what happens when God steps in supernaturally to eliminate the problem.

Truly, the grass is greener on the other side. Less worry, less stress, more peace of mind, and more joy.

These people go around, secure in their beliefs, yet they always go around talking about how the things Jesus did when He was here, are not for our present time. The reason they say this, is because they aren't in the place to receive them.

If we look at a few examples of those that did, or were willing to 'do all that' then we have no room to complain.

God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus gave His life, and even Abraham, following the direction of God, offered his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. And because of all of these actions, look at the inheritance that Abraham received, his seed would be like the number of stars in the sky, if they could be numbered. Jesus is seated on the right hand of the Father, and is Lord over everything. All of this, because of someone giving all they had.

And, you know what really takes the cake??? God, and Jesus did it, for mankind, His creation, who were enemies to Him.

The bible says, 1Cor 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; Rom5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Christ gives His life for enemies, but when He wants us to do something, we balk, we think it is too much, and we don't have the time.

And as far as praise goes, forget it. Something as praising God for what He has done, really gets the goat of these people. The idea of raising their hands above their heads, jumping up and down, maybe running down the aisle, or fallling on their knees, and giving God thanks, is too much trouble. And, you know what the bad part is?? These same people will, at a football, basketball, hockey, or basseball game, act like total idiots, over a team of people, who for the most part, don't even know them personally, throwing beer and popcorn and other thigns all over the place.

Now if it comes down to what, or who it is that a person will go all out of their way to please, I believe it should be the one who can gurantee them eternal life, when this life ends.

When I hear someone saying, 'it doesn't take all that', my response is, 'yes it does, and even that, is not enough.'