March 26, 2011

The Compulsion of Jesus' Call to Follow

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once, they left their nets and followed him.” --Matthew 4:19 and 20.

On Sunday, March 20, 2011, I listened to my pastor, Rev. Dr. Sharon Mook, preach from this text. The title of her sermon was “Follow Jesus…to Where?” It was a good question and one I considered as I moved through the week.

Jesus’ call to follow is compelling.

Some might say, “Oh well, these men were just fisherman (not a high life style back then, or now), and they didn’t have much to lose by following Jesus. That might be true. After all, a rich young man who had a lot to lose went away sorrowfully (Mark 10:17-22) when Jesus let him know the young man must leave behind everything to become a follower.

Still, it is a good thing to know this: Jesus is worth anything or anyone you must leave behind.

We are not all called to be apostles, but we are all called to be witnesses of what we have seen and experienced with God. How well am I doing this? Is this testimony an important part of my life? Am I a true and honest follower of Jesus?

Do I want to take credit for what may look like a pretty good life? Do I remind myself and others of how God’s grace has made possible any good thing I am, or have?

I am a witness, not a re-teller. Re-tellers may quote scripture and sacred teachings, but don’t give you their personal story from these sources. Re-tellers are often very good at telling others what they should do, what their failings are, and why the end will come soon for those who don’t measure up to God’s standards.

As a witness, I may not have as much to say as some re-tellers. But, I have something unique to say because only I can tell the story of how God’s goodness has made my life a life worth living. Jesus, just before his ascension, told his followers witnessing would follow the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives (Acts 1:7 and 8).

Following + witnessing = discipleship.

How am I doing today?

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