Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Who will say, "I'll follow Him"?

I woke up this morning about 4:00 AM. This particular morning I began to pray and I started reflecting on my life. I'm forty-four years old and I'm approaching twenty-two years as a Christian. For half of my life, I've been a Christian. I would like to be able to tell you that I have left a legacy of successes but I can't. I've hit some homeruns but the truth is, I look back and see all the people I've hurt along the way. Countless people who thought I was someone they could trust or look up to, only to end up hurting them because of my carnality. I know, your thinking, he's probably not been that bad, but believe me, it's documented! This is not the legacy that I wanted to leave my family and friends. I say I want to be a witness, but do I really want that? What does it mean to be a witness of Christ? What does our Lord expect from us? The truth is, like so many others, instead of counting the cost, I've wanted to ignor the cost. These questions have to be answered in light of God's word. What is He asking of us?

Jesus is supposed to be our example, right? We all say we want to be Christlike. Let's take a look at what Jesus said concerning His own witness in the earth. He told fisherman to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. When is the last time you said, "Hey, follow me and I will show you how to be Christlike." Jesus said in if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father! When's the last time you said that to anyone? Jesus said that He had living water to drink from and that you would not thirst again if you drank from it. Who would dare say that? I know your saying, that's Jesus and He was perfect. Okay then, Paul said, follow me follow Christ. How many of us would take that kind of responsibilty.

Christians in the Church today have been saying, don't look at me, look at Christ. I guess that's the best advice we can give if no one in the Church is giving anyone any reason to look at the Christ in them. If someone is saying "follow me", so often there's no humility and like the Pharisee's of old, it comes from a self righteous nature. But the scriptural pattern is, as a believer, we should be saying, look to me that I can lead you in the path of righteousness. Peter said at the gate beautiful to the lame man, and I paraphrase, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you, rise up and walk." What authority and boldness he had! It's referenced in the scriptures how the people marveled at the authority these men walked in.

We all say we want to be Christlike but we excuse ourselves from the footsteps that He chose. I have to admit, I've not wanted that 'monkey on my back'. Simply meaning, I don't want the responsibilty of laying down my life for someone else. It's another way of saying, I don't want to pick up my cross and follow Him daily. The truth is, this is our responsibility and we are already being held accountable in Him and will have to answer for what we've done on this earth with what we've been given.

I want to repent to you and to God for all for my failures in this area. If there has been anything that I've wanted to run from, it's this very thing. Thank God for His grace and patience at work in us all who believe in Him. Who among us will be the first to say, "I'll follow Him"?


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