Posted by: Jim Black | May 18, 2010

The Call of Discipleship

I’m having trouble living up to my sermon from last Sunday. I challenged our church to choose something in his or her life that they would “drop”, give up for the sake of Christ. I’m having trouble because I’ve got so many things that I ought to give up, its difficult choosing. But, I’m convinced that Jesus calls us to be willing to give up everything in order to follow him. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.
When he called his first disciples, his invitation to them was simple, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” And they did! They dropped their nets right there and followed him. I’m not sure we realize the significance of that statement. They “dropped their nets”… wow! Those nets had to have been so important to each of those men! Those nets were their livelihood… fishing was how they earned a living, fed their family and paid the bills. But they walked away from that when they dropped those nets in order to follow. And us guys know how important our jobs can be to us. They can become our identity… and even our source of self-worth or finding meaning in our lives. They gave up their identity as “fishermen” when they dropped those nets. And they also left their family… at least their father… as they left and he stayed behind holding on to his nets. Imagine… being willing to drop everything for the sake of being a disciple, i.e. a follower, of Jesus! The problem is that most of us can’t imagine it, but isn’t that what Jesus still calls us to?
Doesn’t he still want our relationship with him to be THE most important thing in our lives? Doesn’t he still want us to be willing to leave it all behind in order to follow him? If I’m not willing, doesn’t that reveal a heart of pride, arrogance or self-determination over a heart of submition and obedience to Christ? Doesn’t that reflect a heart unwilling to TOTALLY give myself over to him, a lack of trust or a reluctance to make any substantive change in my life?
What did you choose to drop this week for Jesus? Its not that Jesus commands all of us to quit our jobs, leave our homes, give up our caffeine or our sweets… but he wants us to be willing to. Are we? Am I?
BTW- I chose to give up coffee and soft drinks all week. I made it a half-day without coffee. (got a ways to go!) So far I’ve stayed away from any soft-drinks… Yeah!! (but it IS only Tuesday.) I hope you are faring better than I.
Next week… the Marks of a Disciple. What does a disciple look like? How can one tell a disciple from everybody else around him? Any thoughts?

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