Monday, June 22, 2020

Take a Second Look

Take a Second Look
June 22, 2020
Luke 9:62 "Jesus replied, 'No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the service in the kingdom of God.'"

Jesus taught several times that there would be a cost to following Him. Jesus lived a humble lifestyle, as He knew the things of the world were of no value in the Kingdom of Heaven. He was dedicated in his work on earth, not accumulating wealth or status or anything that would deter Him from the goal. His relationships were authentic, a small circle of those He tried to keep around Him,  shunning fame even. It would have been extremely possible for Jesus to do miracles so big and public, that Jesus could have become famous, even. He had power untold, and yet He kept it in check. He could have made himself huge in the world's eye, with lightning from His fingertips and force everyone to bow to Him, but He did not. That wasn't His goal or plan. He sacrificed more than we will ever understand, just in His daily life, for the sake of what He was called to do.

He said that we should be like minded in our work, not even looking back at the world around us. A man wanted to follow Jesus as a disciple and Jesus instructed Him to simple follow, but the man suggested he should return home first and put his affairs in order, making sure his father was buried. Some theologians believe his father was still alive, and this could have been years before the man was fully ready to follow the Lord. The analogy is in regard to salvation as well as the dedication in following the Lord after initial salvation. Jesus said the man who wanted to go back and bury his father was not fit for service. It was possible the man's father was a devout Jew that did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. The man would have disgraced his father by serving Jesus and so the man wanted to let his father die in peace, possibly, on good terms with each other. Jesus said this man was not fit to be one of His disciples.

As Christians, we understand who the Lord is and the message of His work, but do we fully realize the focus that Jesus is asking of us?  Jesus told the man he could not even look back and be fit for discipleship, forget about the huge task of going home to bury his father. Do we understand the urgency of following the Lord and the tasks at hand? Do we understand the focus Jesus is asking of us in our work for Him, in His calling on our lives? Some of us have not fully looked back but the deception in the church is to look sideways. We get distracted by the ease of going to church, the programs, the social aspect of our Christian friends. When we look sideways, we are not fully looking ahead and that slows our pace, detracts from our focus.

We should be disciplined in evaluating the things in our lives worth keeping and doing along with the things in our lives worth letting go. There are distractions in your life right now and that are keeping you from your focus, and the Lord is asking you to take a second look at those things. The Lord says if you are not willing to evaluate your possible distractions, then you are not fit for His kingdom. This seems harsh, but those are His words. Some of you have a ministry you are supposed to be a part of, and yet you've been putting it off, saying not yet. You are either fit for service or you are not, there is no middle ground. Its time for singular focus.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 19:14-26, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 17:20-37

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