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Inspirational Article From
Joanne Lowe

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“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8: 34 – 38 King James Version

A pastor friend of mine once said in a sermon “The level of your service to Jesus depends on the depths of your love for Him. When Jesus becomes the focus of your life everything else will seem meaningless to you. When you wake up in the morning, your first thought should be for Jesus and you should ask Him, “What can I do for You today?” When I heard him preach that powerful sermon on that beautiful Sunday morning, it was burned deep into my heart like someone branding a cow. I have never forgotten what Pastor Dave said that morning.

I love basketball and I used to watch every game that came on. I would watch the games for hours. If somebody called me on the telephone, and I am ashamed to admit this, I would tell them that I was busy and couldn’t talk. When I left church on that Sunday morning, I went home and asked God to forgive me for putting a basketball game before Him and for lying and telling people that I was busy and couldn’t talk when in reality I was watching a basketball game. Thank God for His mercy, His love, and for His forgiveness.

There is nothing sinful or wrong with watching sports on television unless we watch them more than we serve Jesus during the day. If we watch the games more than we pray and read our Bible during the day, then it has become sin to us. The Bible says in Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. Anything that comes before reading our Bible, praying and serving Jesus has become a god to us and we are breaking the heart of our precious Saviour.

A friend of mine told me that her mother and her mother’s friends fasted and prayed for her for three days and on the third day my friend gave her heart and life to Jesus and was gloriously saved. Hallelujah! Praise God! There was a victory party in heaven that day for my friend. The angels were rejoicing because another sinner had come home. The heart of Jesus was made glad and happy the day my friend invited Him into her heart.

Her mother had dedicated herself to fasting and praying until her daughter was saved because of her love for Jesus and her love for her daughter. Thank God for this wonderful mother who put her daughter’s salvation before everything. O that we would follow the example of this praying mother for our children, our loved ones and for a world that is lost and on their way to eternity without Jesus! If this mother had been watching basketball those three days instead of praying for her daughter’s salvation, my friend would not have been saved that day because God used her mother’s prayers to bring her into His family.

I had the privilege of talking to this precious mother over the telephone and I could hear Jesus in every word she said to me. This dear mother has been a source of encouragement and inspiration to me many times. Again, I say “Thank God for a mother who loved her daughter enough to keep praying until she was saved”. Thank God that my friend’s mother realized the urgency and importance of praying and fasting until her daughter admitted her need of a Saviour and gave her heart and life to Jesus.

When it began to sink into my heart and not just my head the sacrifice that Jesus had made for me on the cross and the agony and torture that He endured for me, I began to fall in love with Him. The more I love Him, the less I watch basketball. He has given us a mandate to spread His love to a lost and hurting world and we can’t do that if we spend all day watching television. One of my friends asked me a year ago if I missed the basketball games and I told her that I do. However, I remember what it felt like to feel that nobody cared if I lived or died, and to have no hope or reason to live. We must search our hearts and see if we really are committed to serving our risen Saviour all of the time or just when it is convenient to us, doesn’t interfere with our plans and we can squeeze it into our daily schedules.

Are you committed to serving Jesus with all of your heart? Is something interfering with your service to Jesus? Does He come first in your heart and in your life? How can we do less than give Him all that we have and all of our time when He gave His life’s blood for us on a cross of horror and agony? You may have all the material things that money can buy but if you don’t have Jesus, then you have nothing!

Joanne Lowe
June 29, 2007

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