A Serious Following of Christ

“As [Jesus] passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.” (Mark 2:14 NKJV)

I hear Jesus making that call to me: to get up from what I am doing, be willing to forsake all for Him, and to follow my Lord and Savior. And I find myself longing to heed His call, yet unwilling to do what it takes.

It’s not that He wants me to give up everything for Him. Rather, He wants me to be willing to. So if ever the need arises for me to give up family or friends or life or business or home or comfort or freedom or love…I will already be in the place where I will do so.

He says, “Follow Me,” and I reply with a stammering, “But what about…” Kinda pathetic for a self-proclaimed child of God to not be willing to sacrifice my measly collection of things for He who gave His very seat at the right hand of God Himself to die a humiliating death on the cross…

Of Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (in his book I am currently reading, “The Cost of Discipleship”) says this:

“The recognition of grace was his final, radical breach with his besetting sin, but it was never the justification of that sin. By laying hold of God’s forgiveness, he made the final, radical renunciation of a self-willed life, and this breach was such that it led inevitably to a serious following of Christ.” (italics added)

Ouch. Renounce your self-willed life, inevitably leading to a true following of the Savior. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself [renouncing the self-willed life], take up his cross daily, and follow me [a serious following of Christ].” (Luke 9:23 NIV)

So, in closing, let me write out the lyrics to a song that quite adequetely describes the daily struggle of carrying that cross…

—–

“One Day At A Time”

by Jeremy Camp

One day at a time, I will walk this road I’ve traveled so far
One day at a time, I know I’ll carry on
One day at a time, I can see You took my life this far
One day at a time, I will take this faith along

All this hope I breathe is given by the Hand that carries me / Until I’m complete
And I’ll take all I will to understand this plan You have for me

And I’ve been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel your fullness in my life
I’ve been burnt out broken, torn out torn down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel Your fullness in my life
One day at a time

One day at a time, I will take these words You’ve given me
One day at a time, I will rest in knowing You
One day at a time, I will share this gift You’ve given me
One day at a time, I will walk these valleys through

All I know is that I see, how much my heart is longing to be / Cradled by Your side
And I’ll give all I can, to one day soon be held by Your hand

And I’ve been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways I never knew I would, But I can feel your fullness in my life
I’ve been burnt out broken, torn out torn down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel Your fullness in my life

In all these things I will press on / I’ll be with You I know it won’t be long

And I’ve been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways I never knew I would, But I can feel your fullness in my life
I’ve been burnt out broken, torn out torn down
In ways I never knew I would, but I can feel Your fullness in my life

—–

Lord, please give me the strength to be able to get up, forsake all I know and hold dear to me, and follow You. You who gave up more than I’ll ever be able to fathom, to live here on earth. Among all the dirt and muck and sin. You are to be the center of my life, my belt of Truth. For no other cause should I be willing to life…or die. Please replace this self-willed life with a serious following of You. For nothing else will ever satisfy. Nothing. Amen.

God Bless,
Peregrinus

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5 responses to “A Serious Following of Christ

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