Psalm for the Day

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Following Jesus………… Conclusion

“Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.]

If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”  John 12:25-26  AMP

What is frightening to me is that the family is really just an extension of ourselves. Family interests are often really self-interests when you get right down to it.

We see in our children our unfulfilled expectations, our desires, and our aspirations.  We see ourselves in our children, and that’s why we are tempted to make them our highest priority.

We are really looking out for ourselves, and we find we can sanctify our self-service if we but talk about God wanting us to minister to our family.  It sounds wonderful, but if we have placed family above Jesus Christ, it is wrong.

The ultimate principle is this: Nothing must be given priority over our commitment to Jesus Christ.   Nothing!

Satan will always attempt to take those good things, like the family, and idolize it, making it the object of our affection, and our ultimate priority. If that happens, Satan has won a victory. He has made what is good the enemy of what is best. Jesus Christ alone is life, not our family.  We must follow Him at all cost.

Following Christ means putting everything—everything—aside which hinders our commitment to follow Him.

It does NOT mean throwing our marriages and children away.

I dare not allow anything, no matter how good it might be, to come before my commitment to follow Christ.  May God bring to our hearts and minds those things which mean so much to us that, while we may never say so with our mouths but with our lives, we will choose them above serving Christ.

I wish to make one last observation, for Christians and unbelievers alike. 

Do you notice that Jesus is not nearly as eager to attract or to accept followers as we are?  Many of those who sincerely intended to follow Jesus went away, scratching their heads because Jesus did not enthusiastically accept them.

Jesus wanted men to follow Him whole-heartedly.  He did not downplay or conceal the high cost of discipleship. Over and over again He spoke of the high cost of discipleship, and urged men not to follow Him if they had not counted the cost.

 It is not that Jesus wishes to discourage men from following Him.  It is only that He wants those who follow Him to understand what discipleship is about.

Following Him is the greatest privilege ever offered to us.  But it is not an easy path.  Let us follow Him, having counted the cost, and let us proclaim the good news of the gospel, urging others to follow Him as well.

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

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

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

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

Song:  I have decided to follow Jesus…. Public Domain

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