About Following Jesus

Jesus had just healed Peter’s mother, and many others that came to him that evening. The townspeople were hearing about this miracle-working man being in their town, so many started to gather with hopes of watching the next miracle, or hearing His teaching. It was getting a bit much for Jesus, especially at a time that He wanted peace, so He tried to make it a bit more challenging for the crowd to get into His space. Some were determined to follow Him, but what would you have done? Meditate with me as we think about how far we would go in following Jesus.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-02-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 8:18-22
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 At the sight of large crowds gathering around him, Jesus gave orders to his disciples to get ready to sail back over to the other side of the lake. 19 Just then, a religious scholar approached him and said, “Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go!”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens, birds have nests, but the Son of Man[n] has no true home in this world.”
21 Then another man spoke up and said, “Lord, I’ll follow you, but first I must take care of my aged father and bury him when he dies.”
22 But Jesus said to him, “Now is the time to follow me, and let those who are dead bury their own dead.”

APPLICATION: We once had a friend who would agree to go with us anywhere we invited them to go. However, when it was time to go, we found that something more attractive came up and that friend backed out on their commitment to us! In essence, that individual was saying yes to us, provided that nothing better comes up in the meantime! Perhaps you are also guilty of this, but today I want us to assume that we are a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I hope that many of you are exactly that. Let’s continue to assume that Jesus is about to leave our town and make His way to a nearby town. Initially I believe that many of us would agree to the initial invitation from Jesus to come along with Him. But supposing that you hear about the long walk to get there? Suppose you hear of the daily visiting with the town’s officials as you seek to challenge them on their pagan beliefs? Suppose you hear the whispers from group members about the sleeping conditions once you leave home? Suppose you hear that there are no organized meal times nor food items being taken along with you? Are you starting to look for excuses yet that might help you get out of the commitment you made at first? In our Scripture, the religious leader liked what he saw, and he was convinced that he wanted to go along, so he immediately agreed to go along/follow the Great Healer/Master/Deliverer. But Jesus warned that it won’t be pretty. You see, Jesus didn’t want this leader to assume that there would be lavish hotels along the way with scrumptious meals. It wasn’t like that at all. One who called themselves a disciple of Jesus, suddenly remembered that his ailing dad would have no one left to take care of him and bury him. But Jesus said to this disciple what I believe He says to each of us today: Enough with the excuses, these things will take care of themselves. My work is most urgent, because it involves saving souls. Nothing is more important. No excuse in delaying response to my calling. Perhaps to some of you reading this devotional, Jesus may be saying to you: today is the day of salvation, tomorrow will be too late; My work revolves around saving souls from the pit of Hell and from the evil one. Imagine looking into the eyes of one that you ‘didn’t have time’ to minister to, and see them fade away into eternity with Satan? Are you sure you have something more important to do right now than to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ? Perhaps your church is calling you to join them in ministry. Perhaps the Missions committee wants you to join them on a trip to share Jesus with a group living way out in the country. Will you go, or are you still searching for excuses?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: The rewards for following Jesus are ‘out of this world’! Praise God, Jesus loved us enough to forgive us of our sin and reveal Himself in all of His righteousness to us, so that we may desire to know Him personally and eternally! Oh what joy to trust in Jesus!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for supplying every need to those of us that are in need. Thank You for considering to use us in Your service/ministry here on earth. We are no different to the Religious Scholar in today’s Scripture, nor the disciple who felt it more important to stay and take care of his dad, for we all search for excuses to avoid doing things we may presume will be uncomfortable for us. Please Lord, embed into our minds the importance of seeing a lost soul come to know the Lord Jesus. In agreeing to follow Jesus, we will be led to times that we may have to challenge someone about their lack of faith in Jesus. We will probably end up in very uncomfortable living conditions as we travel to, or stay over in their town. Please remind us as You did in today’s Word – TODAY is the day to follow Jesus – whether it’s across the waters to a new mission field, or whether it’s in the darkest neighborhood of unfriendly nations. We ALL need Jesus and to know Him personally, if we ever hope to join Him and the Father in heaven when we die to this world. Use us Lord in Your challenging service, so that others might see proof of one who knows You personally. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Author: Ed Algreen

One of God's kids expressing his understanding of God's Word and sharing how it is affecting his life! May those who read it be blessed, encouraged, and drawn closer to the Lord!

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