Let us go directly to the words of Jesus our Lord, in Matthew 7:21-27 He said whoever hears his sayings and does them, He (Jesus) likens that person to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the person who does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
Jesus is the model in putting God's words into practice.But as you and I learned putting God's words into practice is not easy. Why ? because we inherited a sinful nature from our parents who also got them from Adam and Eve. We therefore need a new nature. II Corinthians 5:17 says, therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,the new has come.
Next question, how can we be in Christ ?by responding to God's call to come to Him through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
These are the words of Apostle Peter recorded in Acts 3:6 but what did Peter had ?. No Peter did not lose or participate in the Olympics, but he was about to heal a man lame from his mother's womb in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And Peter healed the man through the power of God .
Acts chapter 3 gives the account of the healing.
By the way, my hat's off to those who participated in the recent Olympics and it is an honor to earn medal/s even just to participate. But for Christians having Jesus should be greater than these, otherwise we will be guilty of idolatry.
I will encourage fellow Christians to learn from Olympians as far as dedication and passion and sacrifice and direct that to the love and service to our Lord Jesus Christ. And for the Olympians who do not know Jesus yet i hope they will know Jesus and have Him as their Lord and Savior too.
It would seem in ourselves we have a faith tank. A place where our faith is stored and something we draw upon when we need it. Some days we feel we are full of faith and can face every thing that life gives us. And there are some days that we feel we can not even lift a piece of paper or carry ourselves.
When do we sense we are full of faith ? when we have spent our time in prayer and have our daily devotion. And when do we feel empty ? When we have neglected prayer and devotion, when we got distracted by the ways of the world, when we allow pride and greed and lust enter our thoughts and action.
How do we keep ourselves full of faith ? Through confession and prayer, being close to Jesus by reading and meditating on the word of God as recorded in the Bible. Through fellowship with fellow Christians who loves the Lord.
Even our Lord Jesus when He was in human form spent time in early morning prayer. When a woman with an issue of blood touched the hem of His garment, Jesus felt that virtue flowed out from Him.
It would seem there is really a faith tank and let us keep it full and do not let it run dry. But in case we got stranded when our faith is empty, always call on Jesus because He is faithful.
What is our main reason for loving Jesus ? Is that because the Bible reveal He is our God, our Creator ? Is it because He promise us eternal life ? Is it because He died for us ?
Let me suggest that our main reason for loving Jesus is for who He is. For His character, for His faithfulness,His heart, His mind, His words, His works,His ways. In eternity we will be living forever with Him. If we do not like Him as described in the Bible then it will not make sense for us to plan our future with Him.
In this world we have learned to have relationship with people. And as a people we try our best but we fail most of the time. We fail to keep our promise but Jesus never fail. He showed us who God is, loving, merciful, faithful.
To love anybody more than Jesus is to say there is someone better than Him. Loving Jesus first puts us in better position to love others next.
Is loving Jesus idolatry ? no because He is God. God's revelation contained in the Bible tell us that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and it is also revealed that Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
Is Jesus number one in our life or we have another ?
Jesus said in the world you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world. This is written in John 16:33.
Let us ask why Jesus said these. According to the Bible , all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And the wages of sin is death. But in John 3:16 it is written God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have everlasting life.
The world as of now is still reaping the consequence of man's sin as orchestrated or tempted by Satan. But man's sin is already dealt its match by the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ. Jesus experienced death for sinners who will believe in Him. Our sins has been paid for if we believe in Jesus Christ. No one else qualified to die for our sins. Jesus lived a sinless life, fully pleasing His Father, and on Him was placed the iniquity or sins of us all. By dying for our sins Jesus has overcame the world. And because of that we have or will inherit eternal life.
God gives us His Holy Spirit as a seal or deposit of that promise.
You may ask , why do we still suffer today, why do we still die ? I believe God is still waiting for others to repent and turn to Him. There are still others who have their sins unpaid by the blood of Jesus Christ. Why unpaid ? because they have not believed in God's Son Jesus.
Meanwhile those who believe in Jesus and are still on earth are supposed to tell the world that Jesus saves and He is coming back.
Our Lord Jesus often used materials on earth to illustrate things in heaven. These are often called parables. As a Christian I have my struggles and still do. As a human I also have what we humans think and act.I heard an illustration says when you look at a picture, which one do you look at first? The answer to that is ourselves first. We often think of ourselves first. We developed or taught to be number one or me first.
Jesus taught to love the Lord, our God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our strength and with all our soul, And to love our neighbor as ourselves.For the longest time, loving others is hard for me because self gets in the way.
This is where the jigsaw puzzle helped me.In the puzzle, pieces came in various forms , shapes, colors and shades. Every piece is important, or needed (no one wants to miss some parts).There is no me first first because the puzzle can start anywhere (preferably the edges). If we question God why we are not getting the breaks, then learn from the pieces. They are ready and waiting to be called as long as they end up in the picture. The assembled pieces show we need each other.
God holds our lives, we need to keep trusting Him. He alone can assemble us like those jigsaw puzzles.