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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Would You Go with Jesus Today?

Imagine that you have always been blind and everyone you have ever known is blind. Some people talk about sight but they are considered irrational. Most people say that they will not believe it unless they can feel, taste, smell or hear it. Of course, sight doesn't fall into any of these categories. It must not exist.

Now, imagine a Man comes to your town claiming that He can see. He tells you that you will be able to see too if you will just get close enough to Him. So, you listen to Him. You get close enough to Him and you start to get glimpses of things. Your eyes begin to function. You are filled with joy for you had been blind and now can see.

Now comes the tough part. You can see better when you are close to Him. Your vision fades when He is absent. You can either choose to be blind like the rest of your friends or you can choose to see and walk with Him. He says to you, "Come with Me and I will enable you to help others see." The implication is that you either go with Him and help others or stay where you are with the blind.

Would you go? Would you stop what you were going to do with your life and walk with Him receiving your sight and giving sight to others? I wonder how you could refuse.

I read the story of Peter, Andrew, James and John leaving their fishing businesses to follow Jesus this morning. His promise was to make them those who would fish for men. They left their old life behind to be with Jesus. They understood how blind they would be if they didn't go with Him. How could they refuse?

Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV) 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.


Evert Heskes said...

I love the example you selected in that when we are not near Jesus, we can't see. So very true.


high-expressions said...

Perhaps, for most, it is better to ask them if they would flow with Jesus. The stories of the calling of the fishermen, and the blind men story of yours are well and fine; however, most cannot appreciate "blanket" dropping of what they are doing or to do, and go into full-time ministry of opening the eyes of others.

We do need more full-timers, but full-timers are a more unique group like the Levites was. The Great Commission speaks of the opening up of the eye-opening business to the masses. In other words, it is better to, in general circumstances, encourage a more consistent giving of one's time and energy towards the Cause, rather than proposing people take the quantum leap. Some will find themselves doing that, quantum leap, but most others, will remain in their stations. 1 Cor 7:17-24 gives us the general picture. Of course, the picture there is also one of exhorting sensitivity to the leading of God, so that we are found in where He wants us to be, so that we truly could be vessels that He could use, in His time.

Maybe, a better general scenario exhortation is the example of Stephen, although, depending on the situation, one may or may not want to go as far as the stoning of Stephen; although the scene described to us of Stephen's death does show an important point of a believer's path of life is to grow and mature, imitating our Lord, in spirit and in truth.

The deacon Stephen started with being a believer full of the Spirit, and he enters into service for the Lord, perhaps, initially NOT as a full-timer. He became one of the 7 who would tend to more "administrative" matters of the church, but those were nevertheless important matters of the body. There are many "chores" in the local church that need doing, and they are important in the eyes of God. Even being an usher is important; being a one serving coffee and tea at the hospitality corner of the church, after a service, is important.

My understanding from the Lord is that all can serve and should serve; and everyone can start somewhere, and with the simple ones, too. What matters most is the heart condition; a desire to be used by the Spirit of God to be a blessing, in the name of the Lord. Enter into service with pure motive; NOT because you are needing the church’s support letter for your child's admission to a certain school (for example)! In a sense, one full of the Spirit is one yielded to, or are willing to be lead by, the Spirit; and that is what God wants to see.

Stephen served in a team of 7. Faithfulness is ultimately to the Lord, NOT to some ministry, etc; and Stephen must have been such a one, and the Lord knew, and in His time, perhaps, in the period of "scattering", Lord then moved Stephen into the ministry of opening the eyes of others, or he became involved in the work of an evangelist; and he went round preaching and speaking for the Lord. He entered full-time ministry of leading people to Christ Jesus.

If you want to include the sharing of the death of Stephen; there is a beauty there; and it is that Stephen grew in service for the Lord. You want to grow; go serve the Lord in some way; if you don’t serve, it is likely your growth will be slow. Ps Prentis spoke of “being near” to person who was NOT blind. How do get near to the Lord? Apart from being still in His presence, the best way is to partner Him in service. God is NOT in the things He does NOT want to do; but He is in the things He wants to do and are doing; so, how do you partner God? Go do the things He wants done; that is where He or Spirit is working. Stephen grew until He could, in spirit and in truth, did what Jesus did, fully understood forgiveness, and said the same as Jesus did, “Forgive them, for they know NOT what they are doing”. Stephen died stoned, but His death was like that of His Lord, glorious.


high-expressions said...

Cont. from above

There is no inconsistency in arguing for “being still” and for “go start doing/serving”. There is a place for both, and both must be practised by a believer. Those who argue for one and NOT both, is like someone arguing for us to either sleep or work, and NOT both! No, we need to work and we need to sleep. We need to sleep so that we could work; but we do NOT sleep for sleep. In other words, it is the same, we do be still, for “be still”. Elijah’s life illustrated that: Elijah worked most powerfully, in the name of the LORD, and then he rested (eat and sleep), and then he went back to work again, serve the Lord. It was NOT a case of eat and sleep, and eat and sleep, and fullstop there. If you only go to church to hear the Word (“eat”) and go back and do nothing (“sleep”), and you do that over and over again, isn’t there something missing?

Today, choose to do something for the One you love - Jesus. Yes, salvation is NOT earned; we all know that; but love is NOT just empty words; love is obeying the commands of God; yes, this is one definite, definition of love; go check it out. But that is still empty words, or what I called, "I know that" mentality, if you do nothing. Eph 2:10 said that we are saved unto good works. What does that mean? Is there a command there or NOT? What is that command? Go engage in good works in the name of the Lord; it is as simple as that. Now, if you done none; none at all of such, are you obeying the Lord? Are you loving Him at all. If you do not want to look at the angle of love; it is still same if you look at the key elements of salvation.

Take faith for example; it is still the same; Scripture exhorts going into action - faith without works is dead. This is NOT faith at work: I am busy; I have a full-time job already; and I need to work really, really hard to provide well for my family; on top of that, I have to attend to all my family needs and matters; then there is self-enrichment classes that I must continually attend to upgrade myself to stay ahead of others; I don’t have time and energy to serve God or serve in the church or doing church related stuff! Faith is this: Despite all of that, I resolve and I will begin to do something for the Lord (resolve is NOT enough. Year-end resolutions any good if you do them NOT!). If I say I love my family, I will do something for each of them, one time or another, and often enough. And so, if I claim I love the Lord, all the more, I must do something for my love for the Lord. Yes, the budget for my time and energy is full; but I will re-do my budget, and I will squeeze out something, and put in, this matter; and I shall pray and commit to the Lord, and I will begin to do it, like it is a task I am required to do.


high-expressions said...

COnt. from above

I am NOT saying it will turn out plain-sailing; it may NOT; but if your heart condition is right, the Lord honors, and he will help you. God wants us all to be involved in His business. When we have a hand in His business because we love Him, He would be more than glad to put His hand into our business, so that we can continue to be engaged in His business. Whether or NOT you go full-time into His business is another matter; you don’t have to be hasty about this step. Now, it is NOT we try to earn God’s hand into our business by getting involved in God’s business. Frankly speaking, that is the WRONG attitude, and I will be surprised if you will NOT be tested by God on this. If you do have this attitude, you might end up sliding in, and sliding out, and fail the test of God – you give up on loving God by your action of serving Him. To love, you have to serve; this is one powerful picture of love depicted in Scripture, even by the Lord Jesus Himself; be it to serve the Father God, or to serve one another, as He did when He served His Disciples. How do you serve? Do you serve by doing the opposites of what is desired by the person you are supposed to serve? Do you do things according to your own ways and preferences or do you do them according how He likes them?

What does God like? It is there, written in His Word. What are some of the things God likes? The Great Commission. Love one another. Serve one another. Bear with one another. Bear one another up. All these things, do them, in the Name of the Lord. In other words, do them as unto the Lord; that is the pure motive. Go do what pleases God; if He likes you to go fishing with Him, go.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Prentis McGoldrick said...

All believers are called into full-time ministry. Some are financed by churches and some are financed in other ways (by businesses). There was only one simple point here.
Jesus has opened my eyes. I can see when I walk with Him. He invites me to walk with Him today to change blind people into the sighted.
The point is this: It's a offer I can't refuse.