Saturday, January 22, 2011

Follow Me

"Follow Me" is the motto of the United States Army Infantry.  This motto not only embodies the spirit of the infantry but it is also a challenge.  A challenge to be at the forefront of the battle no matter where or when.  A tough job.  But, they were not the first to use this saying or the ones to issue the greatest challenge with it.  Jesus Christ used these very words to call people to his ministry.  Some rose to the challenge and other's balked at it.  He calls each of us today to follow him, not just for a job or for a period of time, but for our entire lives.

There are no half measures in being a Christian, a follower of Christ.  The examples that are given in the Gospels make it very clear that Christ wants us to follow him now and without delay or excuse.  Matthew was at work one day, sitting in his tax collector's booth when Jesus approached him and asked him to follow.  Without question, comment, complaint or hesitation, Matthew got up from his work and walked away forever.  He was called, and he went.  Now, don't try to put yourself in Matthews position and figure out how hard it was for him.  Put yourself in your position and ask if you have answered God's call in the same way.

If you think that it would be different for you if Christ was standing before you asking you may want to think again.  At least three men were in this very situation and did not follow.  The man known only as the Rich Young Ruler came to Christ asking for his teaching.  But when told the cost of following he could not pay it.  Another man is asked by Jesus to, "Follow me." But he asks to go and bury his father first (burial of the dead being very important in the Jewish faith).  But Jesus says to him, "let the dead bury the dead..."  In other words, there is nothing more important than that you go out and proclaim the gospel.  At the same time  another man asks to first go and say goodbye to his family.  Jesus' response is to tell him that anyone who starts to follow him, but then turns to other things is not fit for the kingdom of heaven.

These examples are clear, there is nothing vague or difficult to interpret in them.  We are called to follow Christ in exactly the same way as these men were called.  Not tomorrow, not after we do something else, not how we want to but now and forever letting nothing distract us or get in our way.  If we are not 100% sold out to Christ, living as if we were not of this world, then we have not yet risen to the challenge. 

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