It Is Tell and Show Time

“Then Jesus said, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24)

A youth from China came to America desiring an education and in search of greater exposure to Christianity. He had been motivated by missionaries in his home country. After observing Christian students his curiosity turned to disillusionment, and his heart and mind turned from Christianity to Marxism. He became known as Chairman Mao Tse-tung, Communist ruler of China.

He was looking for persons who had taken up their identity as followers of Christ. If he had encountered you would he have become a follower of Christ to lead China into Christianity instead of Communism?

All around there are people looking for a living example of what it means to truly be a follower of Jesus. Jim, a young college friend, illustrates this. He had tried unsuccessfully to lead a teammate to Jesus. One day angrily his teammate blurted, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” Jim replied, “Watch me and I will show you.”

The next day his teammate deliberately swung an elbow and knocked Jim down. Jim’s impulse was to physically respond. Instead his spirit showed a controlled demeanor. Such action eventually led his teammate to receive Jesus as Savior.  

For the early disciples who heard the primal call of Christ to “follow me,” the issue was clear: What would be the central focus of their lives?

When for us as for them, Christ becomes the central focus of life, He alone becomes the defining influence in life.

Jesus used a vital word, “desire.” Desire as used here is the emotion of longing or hoping for a person, object, or outcome. The same sense is expressed by words such as “craving.” When a person desires Jesus, their sense of longing is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of Him, and they want to take actions to obtain their goal of following Him.

Let me invite and encourage you to accept Christ’s call to discipleship. A disciple is one who learns from another and does that which is taught. True disciples are doers of the word and not hearers only.

All around there are people looking for someone to be Jesus to them. Desire today, and every day henceforth to be that one to show Jesus to others.