Vol. 19 No. 15 | April 10, 2017
Jesus is not safe because following Him means carrying a cross.
Your cross may involve suffering for your faith. Your cross may involve leaving the creature comforts of your local community or staying there longer than you desire. Your cross may involve losing friends and family or being stretched to the limits of your faith. Your cross may involve physical limitations or being forced to face your fears.
Jesus is not safe because following Him leads to death.
Following Jesus means abandoning yourself and embracing Him as your truth. Following Jesus may mean letting your dreams die so that He can create new ones within you. Following Jesus may mean abandoning your career goals so you can pursue the vocation He has designed for you. Following Jesus may mean surrendering your pride and even experiencing physical death that will unite you with and bring glory to Him.
Jesus is not safe because loving people is not easy.
Following Jesus means loving people. Loving people is not easy and it is not optional. Loving people is the identifying factor of a follower of Jesus. Some people are easier to love than others. You have to love the difficult ones too. Following Jesus means loving people like He loves you, and this also entails forgiving them as He has forgiven you.
Following Jesus will present known challenges and some that will not be revealed until you are in the thick of it. If you choose to follow Jesus, there may be times when you wonder if you made the right decision and times when you are convinced you made the wrong one.
Following Jesus is not safe because you must carry your cross, you must let the person you were before die so that He may now live through you. And, you must love people. If you just start with those two things, your journey will be much easier than it would have been otherwise.
If you choose to follow Jesus, stay focused on the fact that He carried His cross and died for your sins. He chose to die so that you could be victorious over death. He chose to love people because He knew we needed to be loved.
Following Jesus is both challenging and rewarding. But the reward, in the end, will be worth the challenges.
As you consider following Jesus think about this story
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side. After he had dismissed them, he went up to a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone. The boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the wind and the waves.
Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on water to reach them. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and cried out in fear, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-29, NIV)
As scary as it was, Peter came forth and walked on water. None of the other disciples could make that claim. He loved and trusted Jesus enough to follow Him when he said, “Come”.
The question of whether or not you will follow Jesus can only be answered by you. He does not demand it. He will not force you. He invites you to follow Him. If you choose to follow Him, your life will be filled with adventure that is beyond anything you can imagine. Maybe He is saying, “Come” to you. Will you?
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.