A friend told me his police academy instructor said, “My job is to get you to quit.” The law enforcement pedagogy – difficulty uncovers commitment, capacity & character, or lack thereof.
Following Jesus is not all happy-clappy, angelic hovering. I am learning as His follower, I can NOT…
• Stay where I am. Jesus said, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.” A disciple asks Jesus, “Where you going?” and, like Andrew, follows.
• Hold what I treasure. Jesus said to a rich perfectionist, “Sell your possessions, give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, follow me.” Sell, give and follow was too hard for this man but not for wealthy Joseph.
• Want what I want – Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” Deny, take up and follow looks like Matthew.
• Bury dead family ways – Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead.” Releasing traditions inhibiting devotion was evident when brothers James and John left the family business to follow Jesus.
• Love Others over God – Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” No wonder for a while his family called Him crazy after Jesus left to be about His Father’s business.
His disciples complained, “This teaching is hard!” Jesus said, “Does this offend you?” Many stopped following. Jesus then asked his twelve, “You too?”
When we respond like Peter, “Lord, who else? Your words are eternal life. You are the Holy One of God”, Jesus’ words become Spirit and Life to us.
Jesus calls Kingdom candidates to commit with full capacity to be faithful above all else.
CAUTION: To those who want to enroll in the school of Jesus, the wise Professor uncovers 5 reasons His students drop out:
Familiarity ~ Wealth ~ Ego ~ Tradition ~ People
Are you willing to pray, “Spirit of Jesus, show me what’s really behind my ‘I’ll follow you anywhere!’?
Pick from Jesus’ list your #1 hurdle then rise humbly with Him in action this week.
Familiarity – Speak, give or walk outside your “ordinary” ways as Jesus would if He walked in your shoes.
Wealth – Bless a poor person with a ridiculously generous gift.
Ego – Meet with two trusted confidants to confess where you often make it about you.
Tradition – Trade a religious, family or cultural tradition for a totally different way to worship or serve God.
People – Replace an easy, regular habit with a sacrificial act of obedience seeking God’s glory not trying to appease your spouse, parents, kids, boss.
Many claim the badge of Jesus. Few stay through His hard training. Honestly, do we want Jesus to forge His character in us as much as we think we do? Right now, are you ready to quit false starts and half-hearted faith and really follow Him?
by Doug Webster
Jesus College – Mentoring Apprentices to Love their Neighbor
Including the Jesus Conversation App – Jesus College Adjunct Professor Tim Timmons, Sr.