Missing the boat?

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The ‘truth’ is an elusive thing these days. It is a bold person who will tell the truth to a society that is filled with traps of offense. How many times have we known something to be true but we are warned “Don’t say that. People will get their feelings hurt.” So, we pretend, avoid, and ignore the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ and the truth is lost to us, increasing the deception that deepens our confusion.

Truth is often difficult, but when we are committed to it, Jesus promised that Truth would set us free. I make no case for rudeness or cruelty, but we need to recover the ability to say and hear challenging things, to enter into dialogue even about things we find disagreeable. We are all better for those discussions. Sometimes we discover that what we cherish as ‘truth’ is not really true, at all. We gain new perspective, deeper understanding, if we love the truth more than we love our own comfortable place in this world.

Jesus told the truth and to our modern ears His words are harsh, even insensitive. His Gospel was shaped around entering God’s reign, a choice that made the rest of life pale by comparison. He made no compromise, no accommodation. Take a look.

“When Jesus noticed how large the crowd was growing, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you no matter where you go!” But Jesus said, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head.” Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me now! Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-22, NLT)

Those challenging words come after two miracle stories, the healing of a Roman centurion’s servant of paralysis and Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Jesus displayed a kind of spiritual authority that was capturing the attention of many. A man who belonged to the religious elite was caught up in the drama, excited by the possibilities and blurted out his intention to follow Jesus. But, the Lord saw deeper and told them man the hard truth. “Following Me involves a real cost.” It means making the comforts of life in this world secondary to God’s call. In so many words, He told that man “You haven’t thought this through and I don’t think you will make it, so go reconsider your words.”

Another follower spoke up about his desire to take care of his parents. Jesus’ words to that man are harsh to our ears. He is not relieving us of responsibility for aging parents, by the way. In many places the Word speaks of being loving and caring for family. Jesus is reminding us that He is first in our loyalties, that even the most noble of obligations must be secondary to His call. “Seek first the Kingdom of God” is about everything, every relationship, every job choice – all of life.

Jesus spoke to both of those would-be followers just before He got into a boat to go to the other side of the lake and it would appear from the text that both of them ‘missed the boat’ that day and perhaps in the larger sense. A decision made in a moment can change destiny!

What is Jesus saying to you, where is He calling you to go? Maybe His call seems hard, even harsh. His words may even appear insensitive or beyond understanding. The call to discipleship is hard, irrational even, unless we are willing to enter the Kingdom with the understanding that the richest rewards may not be found until He comes again or we step over time’s threshold into Eternity. IF we love ourselves more than we love Him, we too will ‘miss the boat.’

Is there something in your life that Jesus is asking you to put under His mastery? Is there a choice, maybe not all that significant in terms of the world, but big to you that He is asking you to make for Him? Say “Yes!” Invest in spiritual treasure. Die to Self. Choose life over death. Love the Truth and He will set you free.

The word from the Word is a truthful promise received by faith. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40, NIV)

___________

I have used this song in CWTW often recently.
It just speaks to my heart so powerfully. I hope it inspires you.

Build My Life (a link to the song)

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett © 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited)

Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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