‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ (see Matthew 4:18-20)
When Jesus said these words to fishermen brothers, Peter and Andrew, they left their nets at once and followed him.
I love how they did not overthink their decision, or weighed up the pros and cons, they must have been drawn to Jesus and so their initial decision was easy.
Further in their journey with Christ, it would have been at times, anything but easy.
‘Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.’
‘If you try to hang on to life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.’ (Matthew 16:24-25 NLT)
We must give up our own way, or as the New King James version says, ‘deny himself.’
Denying ourselves and giving up our own way are not very popular ways to live in today’s world where it seems to be a world about me, myself and I.
Surrendering my will, my way and exchanging them for Christs’ will mean a death to my old ways, my old desires, my old tastes and preferences and exchanging them for His way.
I am reminded of some older worship songs and have been pondering over the words.
‘Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my soul, I live for you alone. Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake, Lord have your way in me…’
Have I really lived for Him alone?
‘I surrender all, I surrender all. All to him, my precious saviour, I surrender all.’
Have I really surrendered all?
‘Lord I lay my life at your altar as a living sacrifice.’
Have I truly laid my life down and am I living each day as a living sacrifice for Him?
‘Let your will be done in this place lord, let your will be done in my life.’
Have I been malleable to allow His will in my life, or have I been a bit too stubborn?
To truly follow Christ will mean sacrifice is required from us. But what is the point of gaining the world if we lose our own soul?
As Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, ‘for what profit is it to man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’
Nothing is worth exchanging our souls for even if it may seem difficult at times.
‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’
Jesus is the way to true life. It is a narrow path, and few find it. He offers us eternal life and his word says God will reward the faithful.
‘For the son of man will come in the glory of his father with his angels, and then he will reward each according to his works.’ (Matthew 16:27)
There may be times when here on earth life is a struggle or an uphill climb. We may get persecuted for doing the right thing, living a righteous life and for following Jesus. Many things may not make sense until we are in heaven, but he says to trust, surrender more and more to him and keep seeking and following Him.
Jo Fuller lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband, son and daughter. Jo is a teacher with an education in journalism and early childhood who loves to spend time with her family and enjoys reading and writing whenever she can.