...and Following Jesus.
Mark 1:14-20 “After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The TIME is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea -for they were fisherman. And Jesus said to them, “follow me and I will make you fish for people.“ And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
As he went a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
Have you ever stopped to think about the cost of true discipleship? Now I know these men were called to be eyewitnesses to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but aren’t we to be the same in our generation?
Aren’t we too called to be his image bearers? And what does suffering for the sake of Christ cost us in our time?
I think these are great questions to wrestle with as we discern the times we are living in. I don’t know about you but I wanna make sure that I hear -“enter in, good and faithful servant.”
And honestly I’m over the whole term of Christian in our time because it holds no value in my estimation. Most people we know consider themselves Christians. But Jesus told them not just to believe in his name he told them to repent. And that’s what I see missing in this generation. Repentance. Changing the way we think. Turning from our old ways. The cost of true discipleship is not empowered by a cheap Grace but one that will cost you your life.
I don’t want to be viewed as a Christian because I think somewhere along the way that term lost its meaning. I want to be known as one who counted the cost of being a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.
But that will require me looking at a scripture like this one with a brand new lens.
I challenge you today in this time of great change and global transition, to count the cost once again. Take another look at the scriptures we confess we believe and wrestle with the call of following Jesus.
We too have crossed over into a new period of time which will require us changing the way we think about what God is doing in the earth. This will require us refocusing our attention and eyes on Jesus in a whole new way. The person Jesus -not religion. It will require us allowing him to change the way we think about where he’s going and what he’s up to.
I think one of the biggest challenges we face in this generation is pride. Surrender, humility and submission is the kingdom way. God’s justice doesn’t look like our justice.
All the knowledge we have gained during this information era has caused us to be prideful know it all’s, who have calloused hearts and minds-thinking we know better than God. Blindness and deception is the result I am seeing right now. Forgive me if this sounds harsh but isn’t it the truth? The truth is that we don’t know what we don’t know- only Jesus knows-and He is the Way, Truth and the Life we need.
The cost of true discipleship requires us following Jesus not Jesus following us. It requires us picking up our crosses and laying down lives-our opinions, swords and rights.
May we return to praying-Father, not my will but yours be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
His grace and his presence by his Spirit, is here to help and empower us all to surrender, repent and change directions if we are off track. His breath is present to give us the life we need to move forward and beyond where we’ve been.
Today we all have another opportunity to begin again and answer the call of following Jesus-wherever he may be going in this new period of time- And give us willing hearts oh God to obey you-to the glory and honor of your name. Amen.
Grace and peace to you,