Luke 18: 28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Our house went on the market this past Wednesday. Over the course of the weekend we had several showings, and now have a signed purchase agreement. An idea and a dream are becoming a reality. It took less than 5 days for our house to sell, and now we begin the process of deciding what to do next. Our dream would be to establish a house of worship, prayer and discipleship in Minneapolis.
We are happy
We are at peace. There is joy in doing the Father’s will, and we have faith that this is what He’s asked us to do. Are motives are to please Him; so even if we’re coo coo for Coco Puffs, I have to trust that everything’s going to be okay. I’d rather swing and miss on trying to do what pleases Christ, than not even get in the batters box. This verse has been my anthem this week:
Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when He comes; truly I say to you, that He will gird Himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
If we do His will, He’s promised to get up, sit us down, and serve us! What the crap?! Jesus hasn’t stopped serving us. He won’t stop serving us. My motives are to please Him and serve Him. He keeps trumping me. What God would do this? Get up and wash my feet? Who does that?
However, a few verses down in Luke 13: 28 – “Hey, Jesus! Will a lot of people go to heaven?” [my paraphrase]
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’
How’s your path?
Is your path smooth? Mine was. Well, maybe I thought it wasn’t, but it was. I would get up early to pray and read my bible, spend an hour in a car to get to work, work, spend another hour in a car to get home, eat and goof off with my family, then go to bed and repeat. It was awesome. I loved it, and I loved this house.
Then I read: “Go, make disciples”, and “everything will be tested by fire” and I realized that I’m not really doing what I’m supposed to be doing. The Father’s will is that I go and make disciples. True, I can do that at work; but I wasn’t. The majority of my time and energy was invested in sticks holding up our house, and sticks burn. I’m concerned that the majority of Christians (myself included) have lost the Great Commission as their focus. Disciples aren’t made in a comfortable, air conditioned, safe building. We have to look outside of Sunday.
We held a ‘church service’ at the park last weekend. What I noticed is that people didn’t care about our worship or our Bible study. They cared about our food and our sincere love for them. For myself, I knew it was important to make disciples, but I never did. I volunteered at church a lot: I led youth groups, worship, watched babies, and ushered. Many of the youth I ‘discipled’ aren’t serving the Lord at all. I didn’t realize that I would have to change my behavior to actually build His Kingdom.
I don’t want to sound haughty or uber religious, but I do believe we need to take the words of Christ seriously. The Gospel is Good News; but it’s full of death. These verses have been challenging me as we go through this transition. It’s easy to get off track. The path is narrow, the gate isn’t flashy or in neon. It’s narrow. All through the next couple chapters of Luke (14-15), Jesus is giving illustrations of what the Kingdom is like. There’s a dinner that people are too busy for. There’s a cross that we’re commanded to carry. There’s family we’re supposed to hate. There’s a tower to be built, sheep and coins that are lost, and prodigal sons who return.
In each case, people were asked to leave something to gain something. People would have to put precedence on their friends dinner over their oxen or fields or family. He’s asking us to love Him in such a way that we are willing to leave all to be with Him.
Because that’s what He did for us. That’s the way He loved us. Not because He’s mean or on an ego trip. He left 99 other sheep to come find me. He regarded equality with God nothing to be grasped, but on human form, to come get me. His love is relentless and unending.
It shouldn’t then shock us to hear Him say: “So then, none of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” [Luke 14:33] Tough to wiggle out of that one. I’m sure we could all sit around and debate what He means by “all”. Can I keep this computer? How about my clothes? yada yada yada.
That’s not my goal. I have chosen to follow Christ. He’s asked us to sell this house, so we’re doing it. The point is that He is worthy of it all. So if He asked me to give my shirt to someone, I should do it. This computer, the money in my pocket, a cup of coffee, whatever…If He asks, I should do it.
I want to be found dressed and ready. I want to sit at His table, recline, and hear “Well done.” He’s worth it.