Tag Archives: abandon it all

Come Here

One of my favorite songs in high school was “The Call” by Steven Curtis Chapman. I don’t think it ever made the top ten on Billboard, but it told a powerful story of some fisherman who left their nets on the waters edge. A man named Jesus had called them by name, and with reckless abandon, they walked away from everything they had known including their jobs and their family. The chorus of the songs says, “We will abandon it all for the sake of the call. No other reason, but for the sake of the call. Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call.”

For most of my life, I have imagined that scene. The sun was just coming up and there were fishermen all along the shores of Galilee. They were beside their boats cleaning their nets, tossing sticks and seaweed to the side. They were talking about the productivity, or lack there of, from the night before, and discussing where they would try tonight. That’s when, in Matthew 4:19, a stranger walked up and calmly said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” They put down their nets and started following Him.

I think I got most of it right, but what I didn’t get right was the “follow me” part. Jesus didn’t say that calmly. When you look at the original language, it was more of a, “Come here!” It was authoritative. When He spoke those words, it struck a chord with something in them, and they walked away from everything they knew. James and John walked away from their father. Imagine that conversation. It sounds crazy when you think about it, but that’s what happened. 

I took my five year old to a baseball game a few days ago. As we were walking through the crowd to find food, he kept wandering away. I found myself yelling, “Come here” a lot. He would run back to me, but would wander away before long. That’s how it is for many of us in our walk with Jesus. He’s constantly yelling us, “Come here!” We wander off, and He’s calling us back. The call He gives to all of us is to follow Him. He doesn’t stay in the same place. He’s constantly moving and drawing us into deeper relationship with Him. The question is, are you too settled in where you are to follow where He leads?

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Return On Investment

Would you sell your house, your car, your collections and all your belongings for this machine? What if I told you that if you put sand in this machine, it would produce high-quality, precious gems worth thousands of dollars each? Would you do it then? Most people would because you would get a return on your investment of giving everything up. The things you would have to sell in order to purchase it could all be replaced once you get the machine.

In Matthew 13, Jesus proposed something similar to the people listening to His sermon. He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (NLT).

Like you, I’ve read these scriptures my whole life, and thought, “I’ve purchased the pearl of great price by giving my life to God.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to realize that Jesus was asking each one of us if we are willing to give up everything for Him. Are we willing to give up our home, our belongings, our beds, our tables, our furniture, our things that give us a sense of security, all for him? Now, how do you think about the pearl of great value? Are you willing to give up all of that for it?

Be careful how you answer that question. Jesus asks us to give up even more than that in order to be His disciple. In Luke 14:25-27, Jesus had a large crowd following Him. He turned to them and said, “Anyone who comes to me, but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters – yes, even one’s own self! – can’t be my disciple” (MSG). It costs a lot to be a follower of Jesus. You may be asked to give up everything in order to be His disciple, but your return on investment is out of this world. Just like the machine above, you will get back everything you gave up if you’re willing to let go of it.

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