Some are planners; others are doers. Being a doer shows great initiative; just be careful not to run ahead of God. Let him take the lead.
Some people treat faith like an inheritance, but it doesn’t matter if your grandparents/parents believed. You must decide to follow Jesus.
Sometimes, following God can be inconvenient and even uncomfortable. Follow him, anyway. (Luke 2:1-5)
Sheep follow the shepherd for food and protection. Are you still following the Lord nearby, or have you wandered off?
Yes, following Jesus is costly, but think of it as an investment with eternal rewards. No earthly perks can compare to knowing him!
Think of something you own that you had to save up for – wasn’t it worth the sacrifice? Likewise, following Jesus is costly but so worth it!
Since we began these weekly posts nearly five years ago, I have been pretty transparent about grief and mourning, but I have tried not to dwell too much on my own personal life. However, the truth is that sometimes I have crummy days. I had a particularly rough day recently, and I whined and cried my frustrations to the Lord. I confessed something that had been on my heart for a long time, but I never mustered to courage to say it aloud until then: It feels like I’m being punished.
I’ll spare you the whole pity party, but suffice it to say that sometimes I feel like I have given everything I could possibly give, and then I’m expected to give even more. I go through periods where I feel unappreciated, taken advantage of, and excluded – sometimes simultaneously. It’s as if my life is not my own, but I’m responsible for damage control. That’s when I came across this passage from 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 (NLT):
“Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike. Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.”
Whew, it’s like Paul was reading my mind! Jesus never promised that following him would be a bed of roses, and if you’ve read a feel-good book or heard a televangelist say otherwise, then I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Why, then, would anyone want to follow Christ? I think Paul sums it up well later in the passage quoted above. In verse 20, he writes: “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.” My life is not my own; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that Jesus paid an expensive price for me. Though some days are hard, I stand firm in God’s power that is living in me, and that’s worth the rough times.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:13 that he came for those who know they are sinners. Owning up to our choices is part of the process to follow him.
Matthew and other disciples of Jesus have this in common: they left their comfort zones to follow him. What has following Christ cost you?
Think back to when you first made a decision to follow Christ. Look at what God has done in your life since then! Give him praise today.