Originally published Wednesday, 18 February 2015.
It's costly. It costs something. We don't have time to argue about our choice in music or to worry over the chairman of the committees anymore. The headlines this week have told us boldly with a clear message: Following Christ is for real. It is costly. For some, it has recently cost them everything and they chose Jesus. You're either in it or you're not. You have to choose.
The time to be lukewarm is running out. The time for easy, safe faith...it's not what we are called to. We can stop proclaiming a life that chooses staying where we are or doing what feels comfy cozy. We have to own it. Own it--this faith that fixes our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. We have been called to a life of proclaiming that Jesus is Lord to all people. There is nothing truly comfortable or easy about what God has really asked us to do.
The words of Matthew 10:37-40 are not easy to read, but they are the words of Jesus. Do you believe the words of Jesus? "Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
You cannot settle for proclaiming a call of comfort. Your call is to be His follower. Will you follow Jesus and proclaim Him in your neighborhood? Just yesterday, I sat with a neighbor in my kitchen brainstorming ways to connect with the neighborhood so that EVERY family may hear His goodness, the life-saving, costly message of His grace. Will you follow Jesus and proclaim Him to the mom that no one talks to at your child's ballgame? Because really. Jesus didn't call you to stay on the bleachers or in the lawn chairs beside the women that you feel most comfortable socializing with. That woman no one talks to? Her family can only live eternally if someone along the way tells them the good news of Jesus Christ--the news that speaks the truth of life after this one. Seriously, leave the usual place on the bleachers. We call ourselves Christ followers. You have a calling and a purpose and your calling is more than the usual place on the bleachers, usual place in the pews, or usual place in the neighborhood. Will you follow Jesus in your community?
Will you follow Him wherever He leads? What if He leads you to share His soul saving grace with your family doctor? Can you imagine? Someone has to...do you care? Does your heart break for what breaks the heart of God? Should you wait for someone else to do it? That would be easiest...but it isn't the definition of following Christ. Are you going to own that title? Are you going to say that you are a follower of Christ? Will you be His disciple? Has He called someone else to share His message of eternal hope?
Jesus said it himself, right there in the words of Matthew 10:33, "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven."
He has called you to a real relationship with Him and at some point, it has become the norm to sugar coat this Gospel-living to easy, cozy, comfy, fun, and safe. There is nothing safe about following Jesus. You are in it or you are not. You are growing in Him...or you are staying put--lukewarm.
Revelation 6:13 speaks a convicting truth, "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
Friends, we have reduced our calling to the comfortable while others are dying for their faith. There comes a time when we have to say that our faith that cost Jesus everything isn't the simple comfort that we have masked it to be.
Will we follow Him at all cost? Have we counted up the cost?
"Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
I've counted up the cost and I will follow Jesus.
From my heart to yours,