Luke 9:59-62 NIV
[59] He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” [60] Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” [61] Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” [62] Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Observation: Jesus says to each one who would be his disciple, Follow me. Jesus claims our loyalty above everything and everyone else. Custom in our society, even in the Church, says family comes first. Jesus says you shall have NO other gods before me. Note, it never says that the guy takes his hand off the plow. But, he looks back…back home; back to his former life; back to the good old days, perhaps? He doesn’t quit. His hand is still on the plow. But, his heart is elsewhere.
Application: What gods do I have in place that are more important to me than Jesus (even though I look like Jesus comes first)? Family? Food? Money? House? Reputation? Like this unnamed man, I am called to follow Jesus wherever He goes. Not to follow the money, or chase skirts, or hunt for food or vie for recognition. I am to follow Jesus. And, nothing, and no one else is to get in the way. By most standards, I look good. But, would I give up this house-for Jesus? Would I give up my bank account-for Jesus? My pension? My wife? My children and grandchildren (Abraham was called to choose between God and the son of his old age, Isaac)?
How am I doing? If I am honest, I prefer ease over discipleship. I would rather be comfortable than committed. Being a Methodist beats being a martyr. I follow Jesus when it is convenient. I am not O and O for Christ.* I am not sold out. I am not all in. I would rather sleep than pray. I would rather eat than study. I would rather spend than give.
Prayer: Lord, I look good on the outside. But, I know that I could easily be a white-washed tomb full of dead men’s bones. I look like I would follow you to death. But, would I lose my life to save it? Compared to the standards of this world, I am committed. But, You are my standard.
You know my heart. I would be sold out for You. I want to be O and O for You! “Set a fire down in my bones that I can’t contain and I can’t control.” May I love and follow You-no matter what! In the awesome and loving name of Jesus, I pray.
*O and O stands for “out and out.”

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