Have you ever felt ripped off? You know, paid for something, but didn't quite get what you expected. Someone gave you a bill of sale, but never delivered the goods. Do you ever feel like you're not paid what you're worth? You do things with excellence, go beyond what is expected, yet the payment doesn't reflect the effort. Have you seen someone take advantage of another, and it assaults your sense of justice? Have you ever taken advantage of another? When it comes to Jesus, how just are you?
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed me white as snow.” This is the first line of a chorus of a popular hymn that many churches sing. You probably have sung it yourself. The Bible clearly states that we were bought with a price and we are not our own (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
If you agree with this statement, how would you answer this question: did Jesus get what He paid for? Does He have all of you, or only part of you? The Father gave His Son for us, so what are we giving Him in return?
When believers fail to yield everything to God, they miss out on untold blessings. One of the greatest blessings you can have is intimacy with Him. He paid the price for that intimacy. All we have to do is surrender everything to enjoy what intimacy has to offer. It did not require your blood. Sure, following Christ means persecution; however, we cannot compare our suffering to the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. In the secret place of the Most High, there is fullness of joy. Some miss out on that joy because they refuse to be vulnerable. Even though the Lord knows everything about them, which includes their secret thoughts, some refuse to open up to Him. They don't express their weaknesses and shortcomings. They may indeed confess their sins, but they won't talk about their disappointment with God, much less, their anger toward Him. Have you ever felt like a relationship you have is suffering, because someone wont be honest with you? If you feel distant in your relationship with the Father, ask yourself if you are holding something back.
Obedience comes with the territory. If you claim Jesus as your Savior, did you receive Him as Lord? That may sound cliché, but you'd be surprised how many want to be lord, while claiming Jesus is Lord. They will obey only to the extent it is convenient to them. For example, some may give out of their pocket book, but they won't give of themselves. Some actually believe time belongs to them. “That would be a waste of my time.” If one refuses to obey what the Lord is leading him or her to do, he or she is holding back. Jesus is getting shortchanged.
We say, “To God be all the glory and honor,” but how much do we try to keep for ourselves when we do something “for Him?” Do we need recognition in order to do something for someone else? Can we seriously do works of faith in secret? Do we crave human affirmation more than the Lord's? This is not meant to be harsh. Everyone deals with this one at some point in his or her life. It's a growth thing.
What things do we hang onto that the Lord has asked us to let go? That can range from a number of things. Here's one, since God has forgiven us of our sins, why would anyone hold another in unforgiveness? When someone decides not to forgive another, he or she is being unequal. Part of the Kingdom's justice system states, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). When the Father has forgiven us so much at His own expense, how can we not forgive? Jesus brings great clarity on this issue in Matthew 18:21-35. Justice treats others as God treats us. Matthew 5:43-48Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Our key to being just, is love. It's the key that opens all the treasures of heaven. When we walk in love, our sense of fair play flows through us. It enables us to relinquish control, be compassionate and extend mercy.