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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Following Jesus

In yesterday's post, we saw the many benefits of coming to Jesus and following Him. We know that He will never drive us away (John 6:37), He will give us rest when we are weary (Matthew 11:28), He will be our firm foundation (Luke 6:47-48), and we will never experience spiritual hunger or thirst (John 6:35). But the greatest benefit is that of eternal life (John 6:40). All of these things are given to us freely when we come to Jesus, believe in Him, and follow His ways. But, in following Jesus, there is a cost.

In Matthew, chapter 19, Jesus meets a young man who asks what good things he must do in order to get eternal life. Jesus first responds by telling the young man to keep God's commandments. But, when the young man tells Jesus that he already does keep the commandments and asks what he still lacks, Jesus gives an answer that, to this young man, is very hard. Jesus tells the young man to sell his possessions and give to the poor, for which he will receive treasure in heaven. Jesus tells the young man that, once he has done these things, he should follow Him. Now, this young man was very wealthy and he found this far too difficult to consider, so he walked away sadly (Matthew 19:16-22).

When we decide to follow Jesus, we will have all of the things that Jesus promised, but there is a cost. In order to follow Jesus, we may need to give up things in our lives that we enjoy or treasure. It may mean that we need to walk away from acquaintances or friends who would hinder our walk with the Lord. We may need to give up luxuries that we enjoy so that we can use our resources to help further the kingdom of God. For some, it may even mean leaving a job or moving to another place in order to fulfill a specific calling on our lives.

These things may be difficult and even painful to do. But the good news is that, when we do whatever the Lord requires of us to follow Him, we are promised that we will receive a hundred times as much as we give up and will inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:29). Jesus promises that, when we give of our time and our resources in order to follow Him, we will be given so much more that it will just pour over us (Luke 6:38). Coming to Jesus and following Him has a cost, but it is one that is well worth paying.

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