Friday, May 29, 2015

Popularity? No thank you

Jesus wasn't looking simply for believers. He was looking for disciples.There is a significant difference between the two. Some people are content just to "believe." Some are happy just to believe and go to church on Sunday. But from Jesus there always comes the call to follow Him.

Jesus said (in Luke 9): "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

And in Matthew 10: "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. . . He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it."

A remarkable story is told of an unnamed African Christian who was told to renounce Christ or he would be killed. He refused to renounce Christ, and was martyred. The following was later found affixed to the wall in his room:

I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished with low living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colourless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits and popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognised, praised, regarded or rewarded. 

I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer and labour with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, meander in the maze of mediocrity. 

I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, prayed up, paid up and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.

And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognising me - my banner will be clear.

When it came to it, he didn't have to make a decision. His decision had already been made. 

Could you make a decision like that? Could I?

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