Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What’s in it for me?”

Monday 9-26-16 (Patagonia, Argentina)
Scripture reading:   Ezra 4     Ps 113 and 127    Luke  9
S=Scripture O=Observation A=Application P=Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S.  Luke 9:57-62 As they were walking along someone said to Jesus, "I will follow you no matter where you go." But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head." He said to another person, "Come, be my disciple." The man agreed, but he said, "Lord, first let me return home and bury my father." Jesus replied, "Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God." Another said, "Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family." But Jesus told him, "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God."  NLT

O. “Do you want happiness? Do you want wealth? Do you want peace in your family? Come follow Jesus and He will give you health and happiness.” Does this sound familiar? Do we evangelicals sometimes paint an unreal utopia for potential Christians in order to woo them in?  Jesus did just the opposite. He made it sound hard. “Follow me and you will be sleeping on the cold hard ground like I do. Follow me and you may have to leave behind your elderly parents. Follow me and you will be rejected, just as I have. Take up your cross and follow me to Golgotha’s hill.” “Yes, Jesus, I will! I will follow You wherever You go… starting next week.”

A. I live in a culture that advertises their products with perfectly white smiles, bright fresh flowers with backgrounds of gentle ocean waves on a beautiful seashore. “And if you call this toll free number right now, today only, you will get two, yes two, for the price of one!”

P.  Jesus, I notice that You do not promise a life of ease. You ask for total dedication, but You do not ask more from me than You are willing to give. Do I really want to be Your follower? Am I ready to give up all lesser plans to seek and follow You? I know You will lead me to give myself to others, to give and give again, until I am giving my very life away. Isn’t that what You did? Dare I offer You less than You gave for me?

What shall I give Thee, Master?
  Thou who didst die for me.
Shall I give less of what I possess,
  Or shall I give all to Thee? 

Jesus, my Lord and Savior;
  Thou hast giv’n all for me;
Thou didst leave Thy home above
  To die on Calvary.
What shall I give Thee, Master?
  Thou hast giv’n all for me;
Not just a part or half of my heart,
    I will give all to Thee.

What shall I give Thee, Master?
  Thou hast redeemed my soul;
My gift is small but it is my all—
  Surrendered to Thy control.

What shall I give Thee, Master?
  Giver of gifts divine!
I will not hold time, talents or gold—
  For everything shall be Thine.

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