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What Does Jesus Want From You?

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Today many people accept the fact that a man named Jesus Christ really did live and die in the first century. Many also acknowledge that He was and continues to be the Son of God. If you accept these fundamental principles, you're doing well, but there is much more to understand and do.

As James explains: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:19-20 James 2:19-20 19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
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So what does Jesus expect from us if we claim to truly follow Him? Let's look at seven areas:

1. Action required

In Luke 6:46-49 Luke 6:46-49 46 And why call you me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and dig deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently on that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded on a rock. 49 But he that hears, and does not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house on the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
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Jesus placed the emphasis on action, on “doing,” by saying it was vain to call Him Lord while not following His instruction. Following His directives and commands is likened to building a house on a solid foundation. It will root and ground a person against the wind and waves that life throws our way.

Jesus warned that recognizing Him as Lord and even doing great things will not get a person into God's Kingdom (see Matthew 7:21-23 Matthew 7:21-23 21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
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). He emphasized living by God's instructions—doing “the will of My Father in heaven.”

So while it is vital to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, Jesus' own words tell us it is also vitally important to live according to His teachings, which He said came from the Father (John 7:16 John 7:16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
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2. Worship in spirit and truth

When talking with the Samaritan woman by the well, Jesus directed worship toward God the Father, saying the time had come for true worshippers to “worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23 John 4:23But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
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Those words are very similar to what Jesus' namesake, the Old Testament Joshua, said to ancient Israel near the end of his life in the Promised Land. In Joshua 24:14 Joshua 24:14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve you the LORD.
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he reminded Israel that they were to “fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth.” We get the picture from both testaments that truth and sincerity are both vitally important in true worship of God. Just any form of belief and worship won't do. It must be sincere as well as biblically accurate.

3. Church attendance

God also expects us to show up when He commands a meeting, which He does each Sabbath. God said the Sabbath is a holy, commanded assembly (convocation) where attendance by His people is required (Leviticus 23:3 Leviticus 23:3Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
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How seriously you take that command says a lot about how sincere you are in your worship.

Luke 4:16 Luke 4:16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
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tells us it was Jesus' custom (His regular practice) to gather in the synagogue every Sabbath to appear before God. The book of Acts shows Paul attending services every Sabbath (Acts 18:4 Acts 18:4And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
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) to discuss God's way of life with both Jews and gentiles.

4. Regular prayer and study

Jesus was a praying man while in the flesh. Read any of the Gospel accounts and you will run across numerous passages that mention His going off by Himself to pray. And He expects His followers to imitate His example. In the Sermon on the Mount, He said “when” you pray—not “if” you pray (Matthew 6:6 Matthew 6:6But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.
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). Paul admonished us to pray without ceasing—never giving it up (1 Thessalonians 5:17 1 Thessalonians 5:17Pray without ceasing.
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The people of the town of Berea were praised for their daily study of the Scriptures (Acts 17:11 Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
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) as they sought to learn more about the way of life Paul was preaching and living. Jesus wants us to be in regular contact with Him through prayer and to study His written words of life in the Bible.

5. Tithing

Jesus also wants us to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak. The Gospel writers record His speaking about money on many occasions. Some Bible reference books even say He spoke more about money than any other subject.

He said to lay up treasure in heaven, because where you put your money is where your heart really is (Matthew 6:20-21 Matthew 6:20-21 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
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). He warned against covetousness—wanting to hold onto every dime or dollar we have—saying a misplaced focus on material goods can cost us our eternal life (Luke 12:15 Luke 12:15And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
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; Mark 8:36 Mark 8:36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
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Paul also taught that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil that can spiritually drown a person (1 Timothy 6:9-10 1 Timothy 6:9-10 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
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). The means of support for God's work that He consistently teaches in the Bible is tithing—giving a tenth of our increase to His representatives—along with offerings (Malachi 3:8-10 Malachi 3:8-10 8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, Wherein have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, said the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
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6. Service to others

The reason Jesus came in the flesh was for the benefit of others—so human beings could have their sins forgiven through the sacrifice of His perfect life. Jesus drew attention to that fact when the disciples began to worry about who was going to get the highest position of honor in the Kingdom. He told them that if they really wanted to be great, they should serve others —just as He came not to be served but to serve humanity by giving His life for all (Mark 10:42-45 Mark 10:42-45 42 But Jesus called them to him, and said to them, You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority on them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whoever of you will be the most chief, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
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This lesson was not lost on Paul either, as he told the churches in Galatia that they needed to express their love by serving others (Galatians 5:13 Galatians 5:13For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
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What does Jesus want from you? For you to use every opportunity you have to do good for others—to serve them. He tells us that if we do something good to the least of our fellow Christians, it's as though we have done it to Him personally (Matthew 25:40 Matthew 25:40And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.
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7. Change

Perhaps the greatest desire Jesus has for us is that we continually examine our lives in humility before Him and change those areas that don't agree with the instructions of the Bible.

The Bible includes many words that describe aspects of that process— repentance, conversion, spiritual growth, etc. We should take note that the first message Jesus taught when He began His ministry here on earth was that people need to repent (Matthew 4:17 Matthew 4:17From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
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It takes an attitude of humility to be willing to admit where we don't measure up to God's standards and to change. In Revelation 2 and 3 the messages to the churches all include references to overcoming. That means changing areas in our lives that do not look like Jesus. That process must continue until we are completely like Him, changed into spirit (1 John 3:2-3 1 John 3:2-3 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
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Another servant of God summed up our duty this way: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 Micah 6:8He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
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What a concise way to sum up what Jesus wants from you—and me and everyone who eventually comes to Him! We're to do justly—to live by all of God's commands. We're to love mercy—giving it freely to others just like He does to us, realizing that if we don't forgive others, we will not be forgiven ourselves (Matthew 6:15 Matthew 6:15But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
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). And we're to walk humbly with our God—looking carefully at our lives to see if we're following His instructions. Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 12:13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
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adds that fearing God and keeping His commandments is our whole duty.

Worshipping God in spirit and truth, attending church services regularly, praying, studying, serving others, tithing and changing to become like Jesus are the things He asks of each of us.

What He wants to give us

These are the high points of what Jesus Christ expects from us. But what does He want to give us in return?

The Scriptures tell us Jesus came to earth as part of God's plan to invite human beings to live forever as members of His family (John 1:12 John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
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; Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
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To comprehend the significance of this offer, we need only think of how limited we are by time. As human beings, we all enjoy the pleasures and joys of life—friends, food, meaningful work, nice things, etc. But all of these things come to an end. Meals are over, jobs end, parties come to a conclusion, and we all eventually die when this lifetime is over.

God's offer to us is that we can experience happy, meaningful life forever in His Kingdom! This is an experience you certainly don't want to miss! VT

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