Monday, February 21, 2011

Taking Seriously the Call to Discipleship

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  –Luke 14:11 (KJV) 

Jesus provided in Luke 14 two important principles which many of us have trouble following.  First, Jesus taught that we are better off to always be seeking an attitude of humility rather than self-promotion.  Jesus pointed out the embarrassment we would suffer if we went to a banquet and sought for ourselves a seat at the head table near the host only to be told that the seat was taken.  Instead, Jesus taught, seek out the lower and less important seat and then the master of the feast would see and invite us to a more prominent place.  The attitude of humility is always appropriate for the follower of Christ.  From this position we are better equipped to serve, witness, and demonstrate for others the love of Christ functioning in us.   

The second principle Jesus taught was that of reaching out to the poor and needy among us.  Jesus said that if we prepare a banquet that we should alter the guest list to include the poorest and neediest of the community.  By reaching out to others in such a tangible way we will be blessed in ways that will ring throughout eternity.  But how many of us would do that?  The poor and needy of the world can be difficult to deal with, they have needs of food and other basic necessities, and in the end we might feel used and taken advantage of.  That will be a challenge, to be sure, but Jesus summed it up in verse 27 with these words: “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” 

Do we truly desire to be Jesus’  disciples?  Do we honestly want to walk in the fullness of God’s grace?  If so, then take seriously the call of Christ to take up His cross and follow Him.  As we follow Him we reach out to a lost and hurting world and demonstrate for them that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  By humbling ourselves before the Lord we become equipped to reach out in His name, free of judgment and free from the wrong attitudes that so often hinder Christian growth.  A world of people need to not only hear the gospel, but they need to see the gospel being lived out in us. 

Reach out today in Jesus’  name.  A lost soul is drowning in hopelessness.  Throw out to them today the lifeline of hope that Jesus offers.

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