Jesus’ words about leaving home, family, friends, and job to follow Him seem to be difficult words. To me it is an extension of the choice many make to die to self as they choose to put on Christ and become a new creation in Him. Often this means we set aside some things and some people in our lives that keep us from fully pursuing a life lived in Christ. A speaker I heard yesterday said we cannot be 99% in for Jesus – it needs to be 100%. Until it is 100% we are holding something back. As it says in Luke 9, we cannot put our hand to the plow and look back. This sacrifice can be hard but we are promised great reward when we receive eternal life.
In a culture where rugged individualism is valued, we cannot allow that to isolate us or any new believers. Christianity is not meant to be lived alone but in a community. One’s new family and friends are the church – a group of loving and caring people who want to come along side the new believer and each other to encourage, strengthen, and support one another. How we love and care for one another should reflect the love and care Jesus gave to the disciples.
Being such a community can be difficult in a society that so values wealth, power, and position. These are not the things of God’s kingdom. The economy in God’s kingdom is based on love, mercy, and forgiveness. All of these are not things we accumulate to hoard and hold onto. These are gifts from God that we experience so that we can give them away. This day may we be filled with these things of God so that we may bountifully give them away. May His light and love reign today!!
Scripture reference: Mark 10: 28-31