WHATEVER THE COST?
Holy Spirit, I bow before You today. Generate in my weary soul a sense of expectancy, an assurance of You being with me.
Read LUKE 9:57–62
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Are there times when you find it hard to acknowledge your faith? As you read Jesus’ words, pray for insight into your own challenges.
Crowds followed Jesus; they came to hear his stories and see miracles, and I expect many hoped he was the promised Messiah or at least a prophet of God. As he and the disciples walked south through the Judean countryside to Jerusalem, people from the towns and villages would join the crowd and some would leave and go home. Some of these followers wanted a closer relationship with Jesus, and he challenged them to face up to the sacrifices involved. Some must have followed him all the way, joining in the joyful praises as he rode into the city (Luke 19:37,38), but, as the time came for the fulfillment of all he had told them would happen, one night in Gethsemane “everyone deserted him and fled” (Mark 14:50).
What do these few verses say to us, his disciples 2,000 years later, in a world so different from theirs? Like the examples in these verses, our family obligations can pull us away from our desire to serve the Lord with all of our heart. My parents were deeply embarrassed and disappointed when I became a Christian as a teenager. Today in the face of ignorant and belligerent disbelief, I find myself wanting to argue for the educational importance of knowing about the Christian faith and the Bible stories in order to understand the art, literature and music of the Western world. That is a point—a starting point—but there are situations where I find it hard to go on to say I am a Christian believer.
We need each other—church home groups, Christian groups in the workplace, close friends and mentors—places and people who can help us with our discipleship problems and keep our ploughs making straight furrows—”a long obedience in the same direction” (Eugene Peterson).
Where do you find it hard to be a witness? How can you find support and encouragement to move ahead?
Lord Jesus, sometimes when it comes to faith sharing, I feel like a devout coward. Remove blockages and move me beyond them.
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