Monday, October 17, 2016

Following the Leader~

To be a true follower of Christ,
we have to be willing to follow Him.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].~Matthew 16:24

It is not enough for us to simply hang around in circles and places
where Jesus is seen and Jesus is heard.

It is not enough for us to simply be where He is -
at church.

In order for us to be a true follower,
a true disciple -
we must be willing to follow.

And, this following,
no doubt,
will "cost" us.

And, it is this cost
that keeps so many Christians standing still,
"playing church",
content to follow until . . .
it means losing your friends,
it means losing your job,
it means losing your "worldly reputation",
it means losing your "worldly status",
it means losing your financial security,
it means losing your very life.

And yet,
what most people don't realize is this:
it is in the following
and it is in the losing
that God is truly found.

Jesus didn't call the disciples to follow Him
so they would lose all they had
(although some did, even their very life.)
He called the disciples to follow Him
so they would gain all that really mattered in this life -
and the next.

It's not the ones who sit safely on a church pew,
week after week,
who receive of all that God desires to give.
It is those who are willing
to hear His call,
to surrender to His leading,
to pick up their cross of self-denial and self-security
and follow Him
who gain the riches of His kingdom.

If we are not willing to open our life completely to our God,
are we truly His follower?

If we are not willing to leave the things of the world
for the things of our God,
are we truly His follower?

If we are not willing to step out
and truly follow,
are we truly His follower?

I pray God will give you and I
the courage,
the boldness,
the faith,
and the conviction
to follow Him -
wherever He leads,
whatever the cost.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keepto gain that which he cannot lose."~Jim Elliot

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