For two more Sundays we are going to look at the topic of Discipleship and what it means to be a disciple and why we should follow Jesus. I think one of the biggest misnomers in our world is that a relationship with Jesus stops at the baptismal or as some would say, “when someone bends the knee.” And it is challenging to address because we point everyone to “making a decision.” In making a decision we instruct people they must believe, confess, repent, and be baptized. When people do these things they have, and should have, this sense of security. That is, if their heart is in their decision.
Where does discipleship come into play then? After all, there are some who confess Jesus as Lord in their final hours and have no time left for the function of following Jesus. Yes, I believe that we are saved when we surrender our lives to Jesus. However, I believe surrendering our lives to Jesus is an ongoing journey that starts with hearing, believing, confessing, repenting, and being baptized.
Matthew 16:24-27 reads, “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.“
What are the things that keep you from following Jesus? What are the things you are being asked to give up in order to follow Jesus? What are the things you need to deny yourself in order to follow Jesus? What things need to be re-prioritized? Brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe the world has put a semi-truck full of distractions to keep us from following Jesus. And sorry to be that guy, but the end of that passage reminds us that we will be repaid for the things we have done. Following Jesus requires action.
What action will you take today?