What has God asked you to do and are you doing it? Are you making excuses as to why you can’t do it? Do you allow your feelings or human logic to hold you back? Perhaps you lack the proper education or your job keeps you too busy to pursue ministry opportunities. That’s not going to fly with Jesus. You go after what you desire the most so what is it you’re pursuing? It’s one thing to go to church, hear the Word, receive the Word and love the Word, but it’s still another to carry that Word, live that Word and work the Word.
Mark 8:34-38; Then Jesus called the crowd and his followers to him. He said, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me. Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me and for the Good News will save it. It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are lost. You could never pay enough to buy back your life. People today are so sinful. They have not been faithful to God. As you live among them, don’t be ashamed of me and my teaching. If that happens, I will be ashamed of you when I come with the glory of my Father and the holy angels.”
When I read this, I thought, ‘He could be speaking to us today instead of his disciples so long ago.’ I would have loved to hang out with Jesus, hearing first hand his every word, seeing the miracles, being one of his disciples, but guess what? The only difference between then and now is that there was one Jesus with them in the flesh, he was the first born of many brothers (Romans 8:29). We are to be like Jesus! Doing what he did, affecting lives as he did, healing the sick, raising the dead. He said, “Don’t be ashamed of me and my teaching.” He said to be like him. I’m not there yet! Are you?
Thank you Father for helping me to see how far I have to go but how close I am to the one who changes me. I want to be like your son, but I know that I must lose my own life to do that. I’m afraid. Draw me close to you. However painful that may be, it would be more painful to disappoint you by not trusting you with my life. Standing in front of you, face to face, I long to hear you say, “Well done! You’ve finished well, enter into my rest.” I don’t want any regrets. I don’t want to live selfishly, not even for one moment. I just love you so much. I don’t want to lose one of those you’ve placed in my path to affect for your Kingdom. Help me to be a faithful encourager. To challenge people to go deeper into your presence, to hunger for more of you. It’s in your precious name I ask this. Amen