Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings ...

Yesterday was a difficult day with many good parts in it. The biggest difficult thing was that I did not feel good at all. Started feeling it on Thursday and just kept getting worse. Some kind of cold, or something, that sapped my energy and really attacked my throat. Since I speak on Sundays this made for a difficult day and I had a funeral Sunday afternoon as well. So I went from Sunday School to Worship to the Funeral to our small group that evening. By the time those were all finished there was little voice left. Another difficult thing is that we were having some sound issues while I was preaching and that is always annoying and distracting. There were many good things in the day as well. Some great conversations. I love our small group. A lot of people stepped up and ministered to the family through the funeral and funeral dinner. We had the best attendance we have had in a while and I heard from some people about how they are applying lessons from recent messages.

Yesterday's message was number 6 in the series "Not A Fan". I think it is the next to last message in the series, but you never know it could be extended. We were in our foundation scripture Luke 9:23-24 and this week we were also in Luke 9:57-62. The focus this week on the act of following. Every week of this series has been about moving from being a fan of Christ to being a follower, but this week we looked the act of following. Often we agree with things intellectually and even emotionally but we act on the issue. We looked at two aspects of following. In Luke 9:57 someone told Jesus "I will follow you wherever you go." That is an awesome statement. But it can be a boast too many times instead of a truth. So the question to those who say "I will follow wherever ..." is okay how about over there? In other words let's get specific. We can boast of following until it becomes personal and specific. I will follow Jesus anywhere, doesn't mean much until I follow him somewhere. For many this statement as an exception attached. What we really mean is I will follow Jesus anywhere except ... Where is your exception? How about at work? Or at school? What about at home? What about to a foreign country or another state? Following Jesus means going where he goes, wherever he goes.

This requires you to surrender everything. Not some, not just what is convenient and just surrendering things you don't really want anyway. It means your most prized possession, your best abilities and even your place to live. To follow Jesus wherever means saying no to somethings so you can say yes to Jesus. What would you need to say no to in order to follow Jesus? Living close to your family? Or having a newer vehicle? Or having name brand clothes? Or being able to be with family at holidays?

The idea of following Jesus closely is captured well in an old Jewish blessing. It is a blessing that would be given to students of a Rabbi. It said "May you be covered in his dust." I love that picture. Following close enough to have the dust they create cover you. I think that is the picture in Acts 4 when others saw the courage of Peter and John and realized "they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Jesus was all over Peter and John. I want to live so that people see Jesus all over me.

We need to be willing to follow Jesus wherever and whenever. So how about now? Will you follow him now? Many people feel good about their current fan relationship with Jesus because one day they intend to go all in for Christ. Just not now, or I will after ... What is you "not now because"?

Are you following? Now? Everywhere?


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