A Worthy Challenge

Want a challenge? Jesus offered as a challenge His eternal invitation: “Follow me!” Once you give Him permission to lead in your life, then life has purpose and direction. 

There are certain decisions that need not be made but once. For example, a long time ago you decided to wear clothes every day. You don’t have to get up each day and wrestle with the decision, “Shall I wear clothes today or not?” Once that decision was made, then it became simply a matter of what clothes to wear.

Those disciples who decided to follow Christ and never looked back found life most adventurous and exciting. A few failed to honor their role as a disciple. Of one named Demas Paul said, “Demas, in love with the present world has deserted me.”  (II Timothy 4: 10)

Pleasure is vengeful and challenges a commitment to follow Jesus. However, Jesus’ call isn’t simply an appeal to deny yourself things. It is a call to deny yourself the authority to control things in a manner contrary to His desire. He is the God of all good pleasure. He wants us to have pleasure, but the right kind. Some who suffer from “reverse-greed” have difficulty believing Jesus wore what was in His time a Brooks Brothers suit. He had a seamless robe, that was the finest garment of His day.

On an occasion an expensive ointment worth three hundred days wages was poured on his feet. He didn’t rebuke the persons doing it, but said to those who did, “The poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” (Matthew 26:11)    

What He was teaching is that there is a time to feed the poor, to cloth the needy, to provide shelter for the homeless, BUT there is also a time to celebrate. Hear this clearly: You are under the tyranny of things if you can’t allow yourself to have them without guilt, as much as if you must have them.

Having things is no sin. Not having them under the control and for the use of Christ is.

One of the important truths of our lives is that we must have a purpose and commitment to be vital. Our commitment focuses our lives and energizes us.

The great patriot, Patrick Henry, realized this and in his will wrote this statement: “I have now disposed of all my worldly property to my family: there is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. If they have this, and I had not given them a shilling, they would be rich; and if they had it not, and I had given them all the world, they would be poor.”

That attitude puts “things” in perspective. To follow Jesus one must put self and things under His control. He still appeals, “Follow me….”