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What it means to follow Christ

Christ calls us to make a decision about discipleship. 

He doesn’t call on us to simply decide if we want to accept the forgiveness He offers or get dunked in a baptistery --- He calls us to make a decision to about having a relationship with Him.  It is much like the decision to get married.  Getting married is not about wearing a ring or having a reception --- it’s about a life changing relationship.  And just as no one should say “yes,” to marriage if they don’t understand that or aren’t prepared to make the necessary changes, no one should say “yes,” to Christ until they’ve taken into consideration what it means to follow Him (Luke 14:25ff).

I’m afraid that too many times the message of Christ is compartmentalized either in its presentation or in its reception to the point that becoming a follower of Jesus is viewed as little more than joining an organization rather than as a life altering event.  You do what is required to be a member, and then you take it from there.  If it appeals to you, you may decide to get involved further.  If it doesn’t, no harm has been done --- you can participate as little as you like.  Either way, you still get to take home the complimentary gifts.  That’s not discipleship --- it’s consumership.

What Christ brings to all is good news.  To the young and the old, the haves and the have-nots, the message is the same --- Jesus reigns and He is Lord of life.  Understandably, it doesn’t always look that way, but then it didn’t always look like that when He walked on this earth.  Jesus was mocked, taunted, mistreated, and crucified --- not the kind of treatment you would expect a king to put up with.  But that’s why He’s a king unlike any other.  He allowed His enemies take their best shot at Him, and then He used their ultimate evil (crucifixion/death); to bring about the ultimate good (life - Acts 2:23-36).  It has been suggested that we think of the cross (and the resurrection), as God’s promissory note --- guaranteeing that all wrongs will ultimately be righted.  Just as the resurrection made sense of the crucifixion, so God will one day “make sense” of all that seems out of order in this life.

What this means to us that our lives are not about chance, but choice.  They may seem (at times), arbitrary and filled with ambiguities, but these are not the final word – that belongs to the One who rose from the grave and will make sense out of all things.   To say “yes,” to Christ is a choice we make to not only trust Him, but to turn our lives over to be shaped and molded by Him.  We enter into a relationship with Him where He becomes not just our Savior, but our Teacher, our Master, and our Friend.  We do this because we believe He is Lord and He is Life.
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