How do we measure up to be Christ’s disciples? These words of Jesus are, like the other calls to discipleship, very difficult. But in understanding what Jesus says, there’s really a positive encouragement for us to make Jesus our One and Only. Here’s what Jesus teaches us.
60But He told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.”
III. To Follow Jesus, We Must Stay Focused on God’s Purpose for our Lives.
62But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
(Doers of the Word) Monday Have you ever noticed how so many of the songs we sing in church deal with commitment, sacrifice, and selling-out to Jesus? We sing them, but I wonder if we really grasp the significance of the words. It’s one thing to sing that we love Jesus; it’s another to say that He is our all. Yet, Jesus needs to be our one and only. It’s a great challenge in beginning this week. Start today with a fresh start of thinking about where Jesus is first and where He needs to be first in your life. Read Matthew6:25-33.
Tuesday The world not being our home is a difficult concept, as are all of the ideas of the sermon passage this week. We have to live, work, breathe, eat, and sleep somewhere. But what happens, we become consumed with those things and forget about the most important things. How many of us lose sleep at night because of worrying about the things we can’t change or wishing that we could win the lottery and all our problems would go away? By the way, they don’t. The answer, however, is learning to live in the light of Christ’s world – the world to come. Glance at this world but gaze upon the world to come. Read John 14:1-6.
Wednesday I attended the Atlanta Falcons training camp last week, including a scrimmage game. It’s amazing the amount of money that was spent just for that one event, but the Falcons wanted to get the fans excited. And they were – and it was just a practice scrimmage. They had fireworks, skydivers, cheerleaders, and a mascot. They gave away free stuff. One guy got the chance to win a car (he didn’t even come close). But when the night was over, it was over. No one’s life was changed. The Gospel, however, changes lives – I want to learn to be as excited about God’s things as I am about man’s things. How about you? Read Romans 1:16-17.
Thursday What are your priorities? When you get up in the morning, what’s the first few things you think about? Look at your credit card statement, bank account, or check book. What are your financial priorities? Look at your smart phone or pocket calendar. What’s on the agenda for today – for this week – for this month? To learn to be Christ’s disciples, we must learn the art of prioritizing. The world over-schedules us in things that have little to do with important matters – and rarely eternal matters. We learn to relax when we learn to put things in their proper order. Put Jesus first – it really will give meaning to life. Read Matthew 7:24-29.
Friday Do you know your purpose in life? Is it merely to work every day, struggle to balance family, jobs, school, outside activities, and church? And then die? Or is there something more? One of the key ways to balance life is to live it with an eternal perspective. In other words, when the Kingdom of God influences everything we do, it gives purpose even to the most menial or most difficult tasks. We see ourselves as something more than just a paycheck, but we find that we have a real purpose in life. Read Philippians 3:7-11.
Saturday Putting Jesus first does not mean that we do nothing else but worship and discipleship. We have family and other responsibilities. To honor Christ is to honor and keep up with all of our duties. But don’t allow earthly duties to rob you of worship and discipleship. Today is a day of play and catching up. Prioritize tomorrow as a day of worship and celebration.