January 13, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
The Lord’s invitation to “Follow Me” is universal. Meaning it is extended to any and all, to every person, simply put…to Whosoever. To follow Him may mean to go into “full time ministry,” but to most it simply means to follow Him in everyday life. Either, or both lead to a life change that is characterized by two things. Denying oneself and taking up one’s cross. Evidently according to Jesus, He cannot be followed by anyone who will not commit to these two actions.
And actions they are! They are not thoughts of the mind hidden away, or camouflaged motives of the heart, or unfulfilled desires of the soul. They are actions in the flesh. It takes purpose, drive, sacrifice, and humility to follow Jesus. These are such that can and will be seen. The change from following the crowd or living for self to “Follow Me” is in no way able to be hidden.
Think of Amos, the prophet of old. He asked the immortal question Can two walk together, except they be agreed. To which the answer is simple; no! Two cannot walk together unless they agree on the way, the speed, the time to walk, and on and on. Unless a person agrees with the Lord about the conditions of walking with Him (which means they follow Him) they will not walk with Him.
Amos did in his day. Consider his testimony; Amos 7:14-16 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: … This man followed the flock then changed to follow the Lord and became a prophet. He counted the cost and found it a good investment to do so.
Anyone who follows the flock and then changes to follow Him does so through willful actions. Those actions will be seen by all, and it will be known that they have paid the price. But, oh my! What a reward they will receive.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.