Not for the Faint-hearted
“I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hands” (Psa. 31:14,15a).
Read Luke 14:25-35
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Following Jesus isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be complicated” (Mike Breaux).
A young couple I know are preparing to work in Afghanistan with a non-governmental organization. My first thought was, “Surely there are safer places to serve God.” Then Jesus’ words from today’s passage came to mind. Following Jesus demands rearrangement of priorities, abandonment of slavery to possessions and the possibility of physical, emotional and social danger–even death!
Crowds following Jesus on the way to Jerusalem were expecting his imminent inauguration of the Kingdom. They wanted their needs met and freedom from Roman oppression. It was inconceivable that Kingdom life and salvation would involve the suffering and crucifixion of the King or the need for its citizens to take up their cross and follow. Jesus challenged them to count the cost. Can they finish the job, once started? A farmer whose crops are being stolen sits down and weighs the cost of building a watchtower for protection against the loss of his produce. A king under military attack assesses the capacity of his army to defeat the enemy against surrendering before the slaughter commences. Following Jesus is not an option for the faint-hearted. It is a serious matter demanding abandonment of our own interests, full commitment and self-sacrificial loyalty to him alone. Half-hearted disciples are like salt whose impurities render it useless, fit only for the scrap heap.
Afghanistan is not a particularly attractive option in which to serve our King, unless the outcome is of surpassing worth! Foreign defense forces counted the cost and are there for other reasons. How much more should we embrace our “Afghanistan’s”? It may involve leaving our comfort zones to follow the Master into self-sacrificial Kingdom service wherever he leads.
What do you fear most about following Jesus? Commit your fears and worries to him and then go in his strength.
Lord, I acknowledge that I naturally follow the easy way. Call me to new challenges and adventures for You beyond my comfort zone.
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