Photo Above: Deception Pass, Washington State. Photographer: Peter Isotalo
Committed to the Gospel
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23,24
Being a disciple of Jesus requires you giving your full commitment to God. I once heard a Pastor talk about a man who was late for a very important appointment, and was struggling to find a parking space. He prayed to God, “God if you help me find a parking space, I will serve you from now on.” Immediately after praying the man sees a car in front of him back out, and the spot becomes available. He tells God “never mind God, I just found one on my own.” The story serves as a great example of how we Westerners approach God. We seek or follow God when it is convenient. Not too long ago I came across a leadership book from a seasoned Christian. He gives an excellent example of what a life looks like that is committed to a cause:
“I ran across the following letter written by a young Communist to his fiancee, breaking off their engagement.
‘We communists have a high casualty rate. We are the ones who get shot and hung and riduculed and fired from our jobs and in every other way made as uncomfortable as possible. A certain percentage of us get killed or imprisoned. We live in virtual poverty. We turn back to the Party every penny we make above what is absolutely necessary to keep us alive. We communists do not have the time or the money for movies, concerts, T-bone steaks, decent homes, or new cars. We have been described as fanatics. We are fanatics. Our lives are dominated by one great overshadowing factor: the struggle for world communism. We communists have a philosophy of life, which no amount of money can buy. We have a cause to fight for, a definite purpose in life. We subordinate our petty personal selves to a great movement of humanity. And if our personal lives seem hard or our ego appear to suffer through subordination to the Party, then we are adequately compensated by the thought that each of us in his small way is contributing to something new and true and better for mankind. There is one thing I am dead earnest about, and that is the Communist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife, my mistress, and my bread and meat. I work at it in the daytime and dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens as time goes on. Therefore, I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating it to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas, and actions according to how they affect the Communist cause, and by their attitude towards it. I’ve already been in jail because of my ideals, and if necessary, I’m ready to go before a firing squad.”*
Questions to consider:
-Are you sold out for Christianity as much as this man was for communism?
-What areas of your life have you not surrendered to God?
-Do you seek God in bad times as well in good times?
*p 54,55 Leaders who last Dave Kraft.