Tag Archives: being a disciple

An Open Hand

To me, one of the most challenging things God has spoken to anyone in Scripture is in Genesis 12:1. “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you’” (NLT). He was 75 years old at the time. He was well established, and yet God asked him to pack everything up and go to a destination that would be shown to him at a later time. His faith in action is inspiring to me. The Bible later says that his faith was counted at righteousness. That’s a faith we should all aspire to have.

Fast forward to the New Testament and Jesus spoke something very similar to all of us. In Luke 14:31 Jesus said, “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” Every one of us who follows Christ is given the same call that went out to Abram. I believe it’s God’s reminder to us that this place is not our home. Everything we have here is temporary and we can’t take it with us. We must be willing to let go of earthly things so we can receive from God the spiritual things that matter for eternity.

My wife and i try to keep an open hand for the things we have. When your hands are open to God, He can place things in them and take things out of them whenever He wants. Faith is trusting God with all you have and with the direction of your life. You may not get to know the destination. You may he asked to walk away from everything that’s familiar to you. God’s greatest blessings are stored up for those who are willing to give God whatever He asks for and for those who follow Him wherever He leads. What are you willing to let go of should God ask for it? Pray that God would help you keep an open hand and heart.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash


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Follow Me

My son, like most kids, loves to play chase around the house. I usually play along pretending he is faster than me, but sometimes I catch him. When he realizes that I’m going to catch him, the game changes very quickly. He says, “Just follow my footsteps!” He then goes around the living room, hopping, sliding, drumming on the couch, and other crazy movements to which I am to follow. I have to pay attention to where he went and how he went so I can follow correctly. Otherwise, I’m not following very well.

I often think about Jesus’ call of “Follow me” that He gave to the disciples and now to us. Follow me. Follow my footsteps. Do what I do. Say what I say. The disciples were so good at this that they were named Christians by others in Acts 11:26. The name “Christian” means follower of Christ. I find it interesting that it wasn’t something they labeled themselves as, but rather, based on their actions, they were called it. Are you and I self labeled Christians or do others label us that based on how we live?

I love how the Amplified Bible expounds on the meanings of words based on their original meaning. In Mark 2:14, Jesus went up to Matthew and said, “’Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].’ And he got up and followed Him [becoming His disciple, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]” (AMP). Matthew was labeled as scum by another version, yet when He accepted the invitation of “Follow me”, he changed how he lived to follow Jesus’ example. How have our lives changed since accepting Him?

The call of “Follow me” goes out to everyone, but there’s a difference in following Jesus around and being His disciple, by accepting Him as your Master and Teacher through following His example. The Pharisees followed Jesus around, but it wasn’t enough to change how they lived. We each need to examine our life to see if we are following Jesus around or if we are following His example because there’s a big difference in labeling yourself a Christian and following His example to the point that others label you one. “Follow me” is more than a geographic change – it’s a lifestyle change. 

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Seize The Day

“Follow me,” the call of Jesus, has gone out to everyone in every generation since He stepped foot on the earth. Since He was physically here, people have given excuses as to why they can’t. Some aren’t ready to rough it by giving up selfish pleasures. Others have priorities that take precedence in their lives. Some are waiting until they become financially stable before they follow Him. But others, like the disciples, drop everything and follow Him when He calls.

In Luke 9, Jesus experienced people with excuses. In verse 57, a person said, “I’ll go with you, wherever” (MSG). Jesus replied, “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know”. We don’t know how this person responded, but we can based on the rest of) the text we can assume he didn’t want to give up the security of his home for the security of Heaven. Like many of us, he valued the perishable things of this world instead of the imperishable.

In verse 59, “He [Jesus] said to another person, ‘Become my disciple, side with My party, and accompany Me!’ But he replied, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury (await the death of my father'” (AMP). Jesus refused and said, “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” (MSG). You see, he wanted to go home, wait for his father to die, collect his inheritance, and then follow Jesus. We carry the Word of Life in us, and as Jesus said, life is urgent! We can’t wait to share our faith. We must do it now.

Then another person said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home” (MSG). He wanted to sell his belongings, get the cash, and then follow Jesus. In verse 62, Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backwards looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” We cannot procrastinate when we are called to follow Jesus. We are not guaranteed another day. Immediate obedience is what He’s looking for.

Which of these excuses have you given God? You don’t have time, so you’ll do it later? You can’t afford to do what God called you to? Your life isn’t at the right place right now? We’ve all given God an excuse as to why we can’t do what He’s called us to, but there’s still time if you have breath in your lungs. Pray that God would put an urgency in your heart to follow Him wherever and however He sees fit. Eternity is in the balance, and it can’t wait for some. Go out and give His life to everyone you meet today.

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