In a passage on the cost of discipleship, Jesus said to a man, “follow me.” The man was hesitant. He said BUT FIRST . . . “Lord, let me first go and bury my father” (Luke 9:59). The man wanted to bury his father FIRST, then he’d wholeheartedly follow Jesus. Jesus said something shocking! Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60).
Whew! This seems like a noble request! But we must understand it culturally. This man would not have been there that day if his father had died. He was asking for the opportunity to watch and share as his father lived out his last days. That could have been a year, five years, or even 25 years! He would delay his devotion to Jesus until the time of his father’s death. Delayed devotion is not devotion at all. Tomorrow is not promised. The time to ignite faith and follow Jesus is now! It is today!
Another time, a man asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:16-23). Jesus reminded him of the commandments. The young man proudly said I have kept these commands from my youth! Again, Jesus gives another shocking statement. He said, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” The young man went away sad because he was very wealthy. He said, BUT WAIT . . .! I have a lot of wealth and possessions. How could I possibly part with what I’ve earned? His eyes were so set on his earthly possessions that he could not embrace the promised treasure in heaven.
Jesus said, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). We should give ourselves fully to the task God calls us to. We must not delay but do it now, with passion and enthusiasm. Some may say, BUT WHEN . . . When I’m older, or when I get my career off the ground, when I have more time, or when I make more money, then I’ll sell out for Jesus. But we must work while it is day! In the light of day, it is easy to see, but when night falls, darkness limits work. Everyone’s day is now, but your night may vary. Only God knows what your future holds. We must move with urgency and see the importance of the work.
The time is now! Precious hearts, the time is now. Don’t respond to God’s call with “I’ll do it later” or “I’m too young.” Don’t let money, status, or connections keep you from serving the Lord wholeheartedly. No one who gives up anything for Jesus will be disappointed! Don’t settle into complacency, thinking, “It’s okay that I’m saved, but living radically for Jesus is just too much.” An on-fire heart for Jesus will never be satisfied with the standard, typical, or common. We will always want more! And in Jesus, we will always be satisfied.
Don’t give God a BUT FIRST, a BUT WAIT, or a BUT WHEN.
Serve to Lord today. Let your heart be on fire with His love. Know that God is compassionate and caring. God will give you better for anything you’ve given up (Luke 18:28-30). So go ahead! Don’t look back, don’t draw back. Let go of your inhibitions, and let God have your heart!
As I always say, the Word WORKS! We are walking in WHOLENESS, OBEDIENCE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and KINGDOM SUCCESS through the Word of God!
Your friend in the journey,