Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Faith And Sacrifice"

"And immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him." Matthew 4:22

Following Jesus is a walk of faith and sacrifice. Which means that you often have to leave that which gives you security and what you are most familiar and comfortable with and make Him your first love. When Jesus called His disciples- James and John- they left the boat. These men were fishermen by trade. The boat represented their livelihood. It represented their provision. Without the "boat" where would there next meal come from? Where would the finances come from to meet their physical needs? Not only did they leave their financial security but they left "their father". They left the relationship of a father who loved them, had cared for them all their lives and who had taught them about life in general, in order to follow a "stranger".

When we follow Jesus it doesn't mean that we are to leave our jobs, stop working, stop providing for our families, but sometimes it does mean that. It doesn't mean that we are to break off our relationships and have no more contact with your loved ones, although it might mean just that too. But what it does mean is that following Jesus is more important than anything else. Jesus said that if we love others more than Him then we are not worthy of Him. He also said that if we love the things of this life more than Him He does not have our heart.

We see a contrast between James and John's immediate response to Jesus' invitation to follow Him and the sacrifice that they made in order to do that, and those that Jesus spoke about who were given an invitation to a great supper but made excuses as to why they could not come. Out of the three excuse makers two wanted to take care of their possessions first (their security which comes through material things) and the other one was focused on a relationship with his new wife (that which is familiar and comfortable). In both cases they loved something else more than they loved Him.

Again, it's not always about the job or the relationship (let me make that clear before some get the wrong impression and quit their jobs or leave their spouse to "follow Jesus"). It's about understanding that following Jesus makes Him your place of security- it's a walk of faith. Following Jesus is also about getting out of our comfort zones and making Him the love of our life. It's about putting Him first in your life- after all, is it really considered following Him if He isn't.

Have a great day. Following Jesus means that we walk by faith and make sacrifices.

For further reading:
John 21:15-17
Matthew 6:20-22; 10:37,38
Luke 10:27; 14:17-20
1 Thessalonians 3:10

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