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THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

Luke 14:25-33 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-- lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

I am going to make a confession. Yes, on the world-wide-web, where hundreds of people read my words every week. I know, not smart, but here goes. I am a procrastinator. There - I said it. How many of you have started something only to find that you either have no time or no energy or just no inclination to finish it. I could not even begin to tell you how many projects (we'll call them that for lack of a better word) I have put away (or thrown away) because I just got tired of them. I remember one dress I was making that I threw away simply because I couldn't get the zipper in right. I tried three times and I got so frustrated I finally just threw it in the trash. (Can't wait until my husband reads this one!) Oh well, they say confession is good for the soul. (Who comes up with these sayings anyway?) Oh, I always have the best of intentions when I start something new. My plans are to finish every single project I start. And when I fail, I always have a good reason why I can't complete the task, the best of which is to blame it on someone else. But, in reality, I usually have only myself to blame. Most of the time I didn't think it through to completion before I started. Let me give you an example: When my dad died, I wanted to take care of my mother. Mom couldn't drive, she was practically helpless so it was a good and noble thought on my part. I had no siblings to help me so I offered to let her move a mobile home on the lot I owned beside my house. My mother and I had never especially gotten along good since the day I was born. Somehow, I believed that, with her being dependent on me, this would change. No forethought - I did not count the cost. In the next twelve years I learned a very important lesson.

In the scripture above, Jesus taught one of the most important lessons in the Bible but you seldom here it read or taught. If you do not forsake all you have, you cannot be His disciple. You can't get any plainer than that. He said it, I didn't. So many go into Christianity with their eyes closed and then they wonder why they are struggling. When you come to Jesus, you come with all your baggage and you leave empty of yourself but full of Him. You leave everything at His feet and let Him take care of it. That is a hard lesson to learn - it took me a while. I kept going back and wanting to pick some of it back up. But I learned on down the road that He is more than able to take care of my baggage. We must count the cost, salvation is free but there are some things God demands you give up for Him if you are going to live for Him. There are some commandments we must follow if we are going to follow Christ. Now, He doesn't mean that you are actually supposed to hate your mom and dad and all your other relatives. You're just supposed to love Him more. He is first in your life. If you have counted the cost of living for Him, you know that He comes before anything or anyone else. Many come to Him with the intention of living for Him but will you be the one who counts the cost and follows through?

Acts 26:10-15 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. "While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' So I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

Genesis 37:26-30 So Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh." And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. And he returned to his brothers and said, "The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?"

There are many instances in the Bible where good intentions went awry. In the first scripture above we see that Paul is explaining to Agrippa that before God spoke to him on the road to Damascus, he had actually been persecuting the Christians. He was doing it in the name of religion and had even been receiving his commissions from the priests. He had been casting them in prison and voting for them to be put to death, all in the name of his religion. He thought he was doing the right thing. His intentions were good; until Jesus spoke to him. When Jesus speaks to you, you see things in a whole new light.


In the second scripture, nine of Joseph's brothers are so jealous of him, they want to kill him. Judah talked them into selling him instead. Reuben, being the eldest and responsible, is unwilling for any harm to come to Joseph. His intention was to go back to the pit where they had put him and rescue him later that evening. While Reuben was away, however, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit where they had placed him and sold him. When Reuben came back, he was so upset he tore his clothes. He was the one who would be held responsible and would have to tell his father what happened to his younger brother. He should have stood up to his brothers and told them killing their brother was wrong. His intention to save his brother was good, but not good enough.

We need to examine our intentions. Some people follow a religion without examining it closely against bible principles. Their intentions are good but are they really following God? Maybe others are trying to take a stand against sin by taking the back way out like Judah. For example: when someone tells a dirty joke at your office do you a. laugh, b. sneak away or c. say, "I don't appreciate those kinds of jokes." Or, if someone makes a sexist remark about someone you know, do you join in or cut them off? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. We need to be constantly aware of our intentions every day.

God is watching - and so is Satan.

[GOD BLESS]
I hope your intentions are to follow Jesus.

LOVE, MEME


I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.

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