Forsaking All To Follow Jesus
By Kathy Clark
I believe that the body of Christ is about to enter at time of returning to our first love. The things of this dying world will lose their hold upon us, and we will forsake all, and follow Him wherever He leads. We will not choose our own way, but whole-heartedly follow His way. It will be a return to living the sermon on the the mount, and beatitudes. To the original pattern of living. They won't just be nice words, but a way of life, because it will be so necessary just to survive, and because Jesus left us with a clear pattern. I would suggest two books to you. "The Sermon on the Mount", by Clarence Jordon, and "The Cost of Discipleship", by Deitrich Bonhoeffer. Take time to read the sermon on the mount in Matthew chapters 5 to 7. When we stand before the Lord and the books are opened it will not be the things we expected that will open the doors of heaven, but the things Jesus said will give us entrance. Know that Jesus said:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
It is time we realize, fellow believers, that we will not be accepted by how much gifting we have, or how much we contributed to evangelism, or preaching, etc. but by the above criteria. Pretty scary stuff hey? We better ask the Lord to give us new eyes to see those in need around us before it is too late. So many of us are real busy about lots of things, but ignore this commandment.
This is even spoken of in the Old Testament, I chose the message bible for this portion of scripture because it adds a bit of clarity:
6-9"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'
A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places9-12"If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
13-14"If you watch your step on the Sabbath
and don't use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
God's holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing 'business as usual,'
making money, running here and there—
Then you'll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I'll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I'll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob."
Yes! God says so!
You see God has not changed from the Old to the New Testament.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
“For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
If you will search throughout the scriptures you will find that the same heart is revealed in all of scripture, we are our brothers keeper. Just like the story of the good Samaritan:
25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[a] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[b]
28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[c] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
It is very clear by Jesus' own words what we are called to. Why do we ignore them so easily, thinking He can't really mean that seriously , can He? He changes not. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He has spoken will be fulfilled in a people that is emerging from the ranks. Will you heed the call today. Will you forsake all and follow Him, will I? I pray we will not miss Jesus in the begger on street corner. Will we toss him a few coins, or take him home to a real meal, a warm bed, and salvation in Jesus? Now is the time to be alert. His coming is at hand. Will He find us doing His will when He comes? We have choices to make.
His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
In the Strongs we get these definitions in this verse:
1) of good constitution or nature
2) useful, salutary
3) good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy
4) excellent, distinguished
5) upright, honourable
1) trusty, faithful
a) of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties
b) one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust
c) that can be relied on
2) easily persuaded
a) believing, confiding, trusting
b) in the NT one who trusts in God's promises
1) one who is convinced that Jesus has been raised from the dead
2) one who has become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and author of salvation
And especially this one
1) a slave, bondman, man of servile condition
a) a slave
b) metaph., one who gives himself up to another's will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
c) devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests
2) a servant, attendant
As you can see our life is not our own. We have been bought with a price, we are called to do God's will, not our own. Will we be found faithful when He comes? That is the question. I am fully aware that this is not an easy life to live. We are not called to an easy life, but a poured out life, a crucified life. We are not above our Master. Will we pay the price, or will we suffer loss? The choice is ours.
I have had all kinds of trouble with the formatting in this blog, but could not correct the background. I have a lot to learn here. I hope you will still be inspired by the message to follow hard after our Jesus and His ways. Amen.
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