Sun. May 19th, 2024
  1. Matthew 8:18-22.

One day our Lord Jesus Christ visited Apostle Peter’s house and there he saw that Peter’s mother-in-law was suffering from fever. Lord Jesus Christ just touched her the fever left her immediately. When the people in the surrounding area learnt that Jesus was in Peter’s house, many sick and demon possessed came to Him and Jesus healed and delivered them all. At evening as Jesus was about to leave the house to go to another place; one man came to Jesus and told Him that I want to follow you but first let me go and bury my father. What reply did Jesus give to that man?

Lord Jesus said to that man, “Let the dead bury their own dead but you follow me.” What does this mean? Jesus was telling the man that since you have decided to follow me, you have to follow me whole-heartedly. You cannot concentrate on the worldly affairs and turn back to the world. So, let the worldly people look after the worldly affairs but you must remain faithful in your commitment.

Many people say that they are followers of Christ but my dear people of God it is not easy to follow Christ as we have to pay the price because once we keep His yoke on our shoulders we cannot look back and return back to the world.  When the people of Israel came out of the bondage of the Egyptians under the leadership of Moses and were in the desert travelling to the promised land Canaan,  Pharoah who gave the Israelites permission to leave his country now changed his mind and persuaded the Israelites with his army and there was no way left for Gods people to escape from their enemies because behind them was Pharoah and his army who were persuading the Israelites and ahead of them was the Red Sea that was hindering them to cross and reach their destiny.

Despite such perplexed situation, all glory to our compassionate and merciful God Almighty who heard their plea and miraculously made a way for them by departing the Red Sea and making a dry ground appear for His chosen ones to cross. The physical event that happened here in the Old Testament has a spiritual meaning in the New Testament and it is related to the followers of Christ who are redeemed by the blood of Christ from the slavery of sin and eternal death.

Those who decide to follow Christ will always have the world persuading them like Pharoah and his army to destroy Gods people and there will always be tough situations which look impossible to escape or cross before them like the Red Sea which will try hindering them to follow Christ but our God who called us to share His eternal glory is faithful towards us.

As we His chosen people remain faithful in our commitment made to our God, we will see supernatural miracles and deliverances in our lives. Therefore, when we face such situations in life while following Christ whole-heartedly, and when we cry unto Him, He will make a way for us and miraculously He will bring us out of it and we will reach our destiny peacefully.

What does it mean when one says the world behind us and the cross before us?

2. Matthew 10:37-39

World is nothing but our comfort zone where we lead a comfortable worldly life. Once we decide to follow Jesus, we have to come out of our comfort zone and live a life of sacrifice for God and for His kingdom. We will be in the world but not of the world but belong to God. We have to live on God’s principles but the good news for the followers of Christ is that whatever sacrifices we make for God and His kingdom, we will be rewarded greatly by God. No single sacrifice will go unnoticed by God but everything is and will be recorded in heaven and in God’s right time we will enjoy the fruit of our sacrifice. So, whatever sacrifices we make to follow Christ is not loss for us but always a gain.

What is the meaning of the cross before us?

The hard trials, tribulations, temptations will come while following Christ to test our faith as well as our character but we have to endure it with the help of the Holy Spirit and the good news is that after suffering little while the God of all grace who called us share His Eternal glory will Himself strengthen us and make us strong and firm in Christ Jesus His Son our Lord and God.

Secondly the Word of God tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12 that everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. We have to suffer persecution to follow Christ because the devil will not be happy with the followers of Christ so he will use ungodly people to criticise, condemn and to accuse us falsely but the good news for God’s people is that after crucifixion there will always be resurrection for God’s people. So, what devil meant for our downfall out of the same thing God will bring success and victory for us. So, following Christ is not a burden but it is always a privilege for us!

What did Prophet Elisha do when he decided to follow God?

3. 1 Kings 19:19-21

When God’s call came in Elisha’s life through Prophet Elijah, he was ploughing in the field with the oxen but Elijah went up to him and threw his anointed cloak around him and suddenly Elisha responded to God’s call and decided to follow Him but before he could follow, he did one thing. He slaughtered the oxen which he was ploughing and burnt the ploughing equipment’s to cook the meat and gave it to the people.

What does this mean?

By doing this Elisha made a commitment to God that he would follow God whole-heartedly till the end of his days. Even though hard trials and persecution would come while following God, he will not return back to the world and join his old life-style as a farmer but remain a faithful servant of God. So, he put an end to his worldly life and did not keep any single trace of his old life-style but destroyed it completely.

What was the result?

When God saw his commitment, He poured out His double portion of anointing upon Elisha and farmer Elisha became Prophet Elisha and God performed mighty miracles through him without measure and God also sent chariots and horses to protect Elisha from his enemy’s attack and God also gave him power to understand the secret plans of the enemies of Israel which were made in the closed rooms. This was the reward for Prophet Elisha’s commitment that was given by God.

Like Prophet Elisha every person who makes a commitment with God to follow Him, must follow Him whole-heartedly and should not turn back during trials and tribulations but must stand firm. God will greatly reward you for your strong commitment. There would be hard trials that would come your way when you decide to follow Him but the one who placed the call over your life is faithful and He will help you fulfill that call over your life. Trust God as you follow Him because it’s a narrow way but at the end it leads to joy, peace, happiness and prosperity.

Despite the obstacles be determined to finish that Godly journey without turning back to the world because the broad way may seem an easy way but at the end it leads to destruction. Let your decision be a firm one and your promise to walk on that narrow way be well kept so that you may have great reward because in your life there is no turning back in Christ the King. Amen!

By ROCK

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