“In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus.”
“When I am alone, give me Jesus.”
“When I come to die, give me Jesus.”
When I think, speak and sign His name, a harvest of emotions surface. I want to hold on to the power of His name. The greatest cataclysm in this life is the awareness of so many “Christians” existing in the world. Those who attend church week after week, those who have a general belief in God, yet sadly those same neighbors, friends, coworkers and family believe those factors are enough to identify themselves as a “Christian.” Where is the passion to live with Christ-like conviction and purpose? Where is the urgency of pursuit and refusal to walk through each day suppressing the joy of the Lord in your heart given to you by Christ when He made you new? We express our love for Him, but we are more satisfied in going about our day to day, loving only ourselves.
I’m learning more and more that the days I don’t start with Jesus and spend time with Him, my flesh suffers. He deserves the highest honor by the first fruits of my time, but it is more than what He yearns for me to do. It truly has become a deep tangible desire in my being, to place Him above all else and really know Him as a close intimate friend.
It is not merely enough to go to church once a week. It is not merely enough to say a prayer and be baptized. It is not merely enough to ask and hope your needs will be fulfilled. Would you eat only once a week? Would you bathe once a week? Would you talk to your best friend only once a week? In order for your body to remain healthy physically, we must eat appropriately and practice good hygiene. To grow in relationship with our family and friends, we must communicate and spend time together. To have a solid growing fruitful connection with Christ, He MUST become a priority. He must reign over all else.
The term “Christian” comes from the Greek word christianos, a word formed from the Roman style meaning, “an adherent of Jesus.” This literally means those “stuck to” Jesus.
This term was not commonly used until after His ascension. Are you “stuck to” Jesus? Do you believe He is with your every step, every word and every action whether minuscule or significant of every day?
2 Peter 1:10 urges us to consider our options. “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” We can choose to follow Christ or not, but if you say “yes,” your daily growth should be exponential.
It is time to wear our “Christian” royal sash proudly. We have the richest gift by choosing to follow Him. His riches are unfolded every moment of the day if we seek and earnestly desire to walk close as a brother with Him.
In the gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, we meet the twelve disciples. Nearly all of the accounts of the calling of the disciples are similar in nature. Jesus chooses them, greets them in person commanding them to, “follow me,” and immediately these men stop what they are doing and abandon their post to be with Jesus. James and John even leave their father to follow Him. “Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.” Matthew 4:22
Some other examples of obedient people in scripture are these:
In Genesis 6 we see one of the first examples of an obedient believer. Abraham was told in Genesis 6 to “leave your father and mother and go to the land I will show you.” He did not argue, He simply took his family and left.
The Apostle Paul said “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Jesus even spells out to a crowd in the book of Luke, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
I recall an instance in my life many years ago in which I knew God was calling me to walk away from a friendship. It was a difficult decision. This friend and I were very close, but every time I saw her, I was put in compromising situations. I knew the Lord was asking me to cut ties. I did and it was a lonely time in my post college years. After many months of absence from this friend, the Lord blessed me with friends who, to this day, continue to build up my life and consistently point me towards the Father. These friends did not ask me to choose between my faith convictions and the world. A true follower in the faith will come along side you, they will pour into you with truth and they will always point you to the One who holds tomorrow.
In closing, think about these three questions:
What would it take for you to live with reckless abandonment for Christ?
What are you willing to sacrifice to be His child?
What is holding you back?