During the late 1960’s until 1973 I sang in a local band. We performed for weddings, graduations, in taverns (18-year-old beer and wine only bars), parties and just about anywhere a small band could. I was the only female, and often just did backup vocals and harmony. Our band –The Happy Medium– (called so because we played/sang every genre of music possible, right down to polkas), consisted of lead singer, lead guitar, bass guitar, drummer (all four were guys) and me… backup singer, tambourine player :). I sang music by artists like Carly Simon, Carol King, Brenda Lee, Anne Murray, Lynn Anderson, Karen Carpenter and others. I always liked singing Lynn Anderson’s “Rose Garden”!
Today’s Christianity is filled with numerous “false gospels”, many of which its leaders teach that being a Christian means you’ll have a prosperous (materially) life; or that if you have enough faith, you can have or do anything you want. Well, I am here to tell you the two words to describe a true Christian’s life are not “Rose Garden”:
They are SURRENDER and SACRIFICE!
There is only one statement made by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is recorded in all four Gospels. It deals with how to live the Christian life according to God’s will and not our own.
Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
Mark 8: 34-38 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
John 12:25-26 “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
As the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
It’s not enough for a person to make a decision for Christ at an altar. A blood bought child of God cannot walk successfully without repentance. While repentance is not a work that earns salvation, repentance unto salvation does result in works. It is impossible to truly and fully change your mind without that causing a change in action. In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior. The most evident change in behavior is to surrender our will daily to do the will of the Father! That includes body, soul, mind and spirit to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ to be used as HE sees fit; for His glory and honor. Not for our gratification; although that is a beautiful by-product of surrender— JOY!! We need to take regular inventory of our commitment to our Father and Lord Jesus. Honestly, I know this to be so true. Very often I must take an inventory of relationship with my God, as I believe every blood bought adopted child of God MUST do. Even when I take spiritual check-ups and realize something is amiss in my personal relationship with Him, I never cease to be amazed at His love, grace and mercy which fills me with hope looking to my eternal destination— and the peace of knowing that no matter how bad things get (or are), He is always with me.