This message is part of a series entitled, “God Tries His Children”. To see all of the messages in this series, please click here.
Last week we discussed how Christ asks us to commit to a new life, a new family, and a new faith. We considered men who left their professions to follow Jesus. They considered their old lives, earthly family, and the things they sacrifice for the Lord a worthy offering. We can either be intimidated by this or approach it in a biblical fashion.
Biblically speaking, once a disciple began to follow Jesus, their whole life changed. These men would become apostles. Their lives were dedicated to Christ and the furtherance of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Every disciple of Christ has a huge shift in life priorities. Once a disciple, their chief priority is to spread the gospel. Disciples of Christ no longer consider our life on Earth, the things of the Earth, or acceptance among those on the Earth to be paramount. Our attitude changes such that our friendships and associations focus upon glorifying God.
We also found a new family. All the disciples had to leave their families to minister for the Lord. Those who balked at complete commitment to the Lord over the family of the world were challenged by Jesus requirements. Many were saved from wretchedness, debauchery, and wickedness. Some were saved from demon possession. All were saved from false religious beliefs, empty of eternal life. All their beliefs depended upon works. Jesus told them that faith in Him was the only way to Heaven, and they needed to leave all other beliefs to follow Him. This does not mean we automatically walk away from our families, though it can come to that. It does mean that we have to commit to Christ over their desires. Like “Christian” in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, disciples of Christ seek to follow the Lord regardless of their families’ reaction or desire to restrain them.
Jesus also called us to a new faith. For some, such as the rich young ruler, their misplaced faith is in wealth. Others have a misplaced faith in self-discipline. Yet others have a misplaced faith in their knowledge of scripture. Others misplace their faith in their own testimony or years of life in service. While all these things can be good, they are only valuable if dedicated to the Lord. That does not mean we sell everything and move into a monastery. It does mean that, as with Job, we should know who really owns all we have and dedicate our lives to serving Him, others, and especially His children selflessly with all those resources. Continue reading