Sunday, December 26, 2021

How Far Will You Go?

By Joe Chesser


    I was reading about Jesus the other day and was impressed again how far he was willing to go so that I could be saved from my sins and live with him in heaven forever.

            *  He left heaven so that we could go to heaven

            *  He gave up equality with God so that we could become like God

            *  He was born in a stable so that we could be born again

            *  He was focused on serving God at age 12 showing us it’s never too early to start

            *  He was obedient to his parents even though he created them

            *  He was baptized to fulfill God’s will even though he had no sin

            *  He had no home so he could be free to fulfill his ministry

            *  He loved people, treating them with kindness regardless of how they treated him

            *  He fed the hungry, healed the afflicted, was compassionate toward the hurting

            *  He always told the truth regardless of his audience

            *  He corrected those in error with love and hope

            *  He obeyed the Father always, even when it was difficult or seemed unreasonable

            *  He never reviled those who reviled him; when he suffered, he never threatened

            *  He offered the peace of God to a world that resisted God

            *  He prayed, “not my will, but your will be done”

            *  He allowed the mob to arrest him under the cover of darkness

            *  He willingly endured humiliation and torture when he had the power to stop it

            *  He asked God to forgive his enemies as he was dying on the cross

            *  He saved a thief who was being crucified by his side

            *  He provided for his mother’s care as life was slipping away

            *  He finished everything he came to do

            *  He commended his spirit to God as he breathed his last

    This is by no means a comprehensive list, but when I reflect on things like these, when I consider how far Jesus was willing to go for me, I am challenged to ask myself how far I am willing to go for him. Oh sure, we know that Jesus teaches us to give up everything for him, to put him above all else (Matthew 6.33; Luke 9.23, 14.33; Mark 12.28-31; etc.), but don’t you find yourself at times trying to water down these “all or nothing” expectations? Are we sometimes like the Pharisees who had convinced themselves that they were obeying God, when instead they were living by a plan they had devised themselves (Matthew 15.1-9)?  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am not as honest with myself as I think I am about how far I would go to serve the Lord. A question I need to repeatedly ask myself is this, “Who is really ruling my life ... Jesus or me?”

    When I consider how far Jesus went for me, it challenges me to take a deep look at my heart and commit to dying to myself and living for Jesus. I hope you think about it too.

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at

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