We are followers/disciples of Jesus. We are committed to become just like Him. It is a high and holy calling with great responsibility and great honor and blessing. We get to follow and become like the Son of God. Allow yourself to ponder the wonder of that! Feel the challenge of that!
“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.” (Luke 5:27-28)
Listening to God
His call to follow is not a simple one. It is full of blessing but also full of cost. Listen to Jesus’ challenge:
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62)
Can we hear and feel the urgency of Jesus mission? Can we feel the call to commitment? Can we see how quick we are to make excuses?
Talking to God
We have heard Jesus call us to follow Him. We have heard the good but unacceptable excuses. Ask God to show you your excuses. Ask Him to show you where you refuse to follow. Confess them as what they are—excuses.
Responding to God
If we have listened to the call and confessed our excuses, God is ready to help us overcome them. He is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse. We cannot overcome them on our own. We need His help in many forms. Ask Him to help you to see and then to seek what you need to take away the power these excuses have in your life. Ask Him to show you who you can confess them to and who can hold you accountable for overcoming them.
Surrendering to God
“Lord, thank you for the grace of a new life and the call to follow you and help others do the same. I know your grace will be sufficient and your power will be perfected in my weakness. Help me to become weak so you can make me strong.”
By Bob Boersma
A HISTORICAL SIDEBAR
Many of the Reformers emphasized the doctrine of justification by faith (alone), but many also highlighted the importance of sanctification (being made holy). If “good works” do not save us – we are justified (declared righteous) in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone – then what role do they play in discipleship? According to the Heidelberg Catechism, we do good works because “Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit to be His image, so that with our whole life we may show ourselves thankful to God for His benefits, and He may be praised by us.”