"And he saith unto them, Follow me..." Matthew 4:19
We aren't called to follow a religion, a philosophy, or an ideology. We are called to follow a person, but not just any person. We are called to follow Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God.
Many have turned back from following Him because they were disillusioned. They thought that following Him would mean a life of blessings, perfect peace, happiness, no hardships and nothing but joy. But they found that this wasn't the case. "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:66)
Following Jesus takes us into many places. There are those wonderful times when following Him leads us besides still waters-- places of peace, rest and plenty. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." (Psalm 23:2) But not all of them are "pleasant" places.
Following Him also takes us into the wilderness to be tempted. "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." (Matthew 4:1)
It takes us into places of being hated for His name sake. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." (Luke 21:17)
It takes us into places of suffering. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." (Hebrews 5:8)
It takes us to a place of crucifixion and self denial. The crucifixion of self. The denial of our own selfish desires and ambitions. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)
It takes us into a place where we may have to leave the familiar and comfortable. "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matthew 19:21)
Following Jesus takes us into some difficult places that is why we must count the cost before we begin the journey with Him. Will it cost us something? Did it cost Jesus something to follow His Father's will? The answer to both is yes. But will it be worth it? You have to decide. This is a question that we each have to answer for ourselves, no one can answer or do our following for us. Are you willing to follow Him? "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62) Will following Him cost you something here? But what you will receive later at the end of the journey will far exceed what you went through here as you followed Him. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18) "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us." (2 Timothy 2:11,12)
Have a great day. Following Jesus takes us into many places- not always easy ones. But it will be worth it in the end.
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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