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God wants all of you

Pastor Russ Gaar
Evangelical Free Church, Grant

As we enter 2012, I have been struck by the radical call of God on the lives of those who have embraced Jesus as Lord of all and as the One and only Savior. Two things that strike me every time I read the Scriptures: God wants our bodies and God wants our minds. He wants the whole person, what we do and what we think. Body and mind–God wants the whole person for Himself.
God’s Word (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) tells all those who have put their faith in Jesus that we are not our own, we have been bought with a price. Paul writes: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
This is about as radical as it gets! Everything in our culture is telling us to act on whatever impulse we have. We are urged to live out our feelings and our urges and to chalk it up to–“Well, I was just born this way.” If we feel it, it must be natural and we have the right to indulge ourselves. Yet, Paul comes along and tells us…”You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
I can’t get over the contrast between what God’s Word tells me and what the culture tells me. The world says to follow your heart; yet, God says to follow Him. And the most interesting and scary part? My heart wants to go with what the culture says over what God says!
Yet, here’s Paul saying…“You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” Wow! So this is Biblical Christianity and it is over-the-top counter-cultural: God has ownership over me! I have given him my life and have given up my right to rule my life as I see fit. I have given up the right to rule myself according to my own inclinations and my own desires.
A Christian must embrace what Jesus laid out for His followers in Luke 9:23–“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” I must deny myself! Christianity is fundamentally about self-denial, so that our good God might have His way in us, for our joy and His glory.
Think about it. A Christian is one who recognizes his sin before God and seeks God’s forgiveness. God offers forgiveness through a relationship with His Son, Jesus.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to this earth and lived a perfect life in our place and He took our sin upon Himself and suffered the penalty for our sin by dying on the cross. Jesus has risen from the dead and He lives to be Savior and Lord of all who put their trust in Him. A Christian is one who has put his confidence in Jesus and asked Jesus to rescue him and forgive him.
The moment, we embrace Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we give up self-rule! We have embraced the rule of a good King, who loves us and wants the best for us. This is radical! This is amazing! I gladly give up my right to rule my own life! I give up! God wants all of me, for all of Him! There is no better offer out there! Body and mind–God wants all of me for all of Him.