Pastor's Pen: Do we have what it takes?
Jesus would often say to the people, “follow Me.”
Have we ever personally heard that? What is our response to this seemingly simple request? Jesus also referred to picking up our cross and following Him. Have you ever wondered what that cross actually represents?
Following Jesus can raise situations that we were not expecting. He was well aware of some stumbling blocks we might experience as we follow Him. It might be dealing with people who have views or ideas different from our own, political views, or some that may seem to be outspoken, etc.
Jesus had to deal with many similarities, including those who hated Him, rejections of His teachings, and to who He claimed to be, the Son of God. His reaction was to follow His Father’s directions fulfilling the purpose for which He was sent causing some officials to be offended. Instead of following Him, they wanted to put Him to death. Through their twisting of the truth and providing false witnesses they succeeded by nailing Him to the cross.
‘Do We Have What It Takes’ when we hear Jesus say ‘follow Me’?
We may assume that this will be easy, let’s look at Jesus’ actual Words in Matthew 22:37-39.
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
In Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus teaches:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven ...”
We should realize that following Jesus could cause some changes in our lives as well. Good point! Let’s continue and look at Mark 11:25-26.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Now then, as we say ‘yes’ to following Jesus it will more than likely cause us to decide just how close we want to be to Him. We need to ask for guidance, strength and submission, taking inventory of how willing and how close we are willing to follow Him.
Again, ‘Do We Have What It Takes’?
Not everyone is called to be a pastor or associate pastor; Apostle Paul spoke of the Ministry of ‘Helps’ which our local churches depend heavily on. These Helps Ministries are greeters, ushers, teachers, hospitality, sanitation engineers, office personnel, and parking lot workers. Hopefully I didn’t miss any ministry workers.
‘Do We Have What It Takes’ when we hear ‘Follow Me’? It may mean making ourselves ‘Available!’ Let the Holy Spirit guide us as we seek to follow Him!
God’s Blessings! Pastor Ron