Daily Devotion - January 12, 2020 - The Cost of Following - Part 1

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – January 12, 2021
Matthew 4:17-22
Weekly Theme: Come Follow Me
Today: The Cost of Following Jesus – Part 1

The call to follow Jesus is personal for each one of us. All Christians follow Jesus differently and each story is unique. In today’s reading, the first four disciples, all fisherman, were called to be disciples while “on the job” as fisherman. The first two, Peter and Andrew, left their nets at once and followed Jesus. The second two were brothers, James and John, who were sons of Zebedee. They left their boat and their father and followed Jesus. Just like that, they left at once, they left their professions, they left their possessions and their family, and they followed Jesus. Wow! Talk about sacrifice!

Discipleship is not easy and comes with costs and sacrifice. Each of us will respond differently to how Jesus is calling us. Yet Christians all are called to follow Jesus. Being a Christian is more than checking a demographic box when filling out a form. It means that we leave some things behind, we make sacrifices, and we choose to turn our focus first on following Jesus. Each person’s story of discipleship is different and unique to them, but if you have never sat down and considered what you are leaving behind to follow Jesus… what you are giving up to further the gospel of Jesus Christ, then maybe it is time to do that.

Not everyone is called to be a pastor, a missionary or a staff person in a church. But we are all called as Christians to follow Jesus and to place him first in our lives. My story is one of delaying my response to Jesus’s call until I was in my 40s. I believed in Jesus and was somewhat active in my church. Yet, I certainly was not following Jesus as I should and making sacrifices as these first four disciples did. I was not very diligent in pursuing the ways that Jesus was calling me to follow him. I did not immediately drop my profession and leave my family and possessions as they did. Eventually, I did make some sacrifices, left my profession and responded to Jesus’s call to serve him more fully… at 48 years old. But am I still making the sacrifices of those first disciples? No. But I am still seeking how God is calling me to serve and follow Jesus more fully.

So, what are we to do? Does Jesus really expect us to leave our professions, possessions and families to follow him? The truthful answer is yes. The realistic answer is that step by step we open ourselves up to Jesus and pray for God to reveal to us what we are being called to do, what sacrifices we need to make and how we are to follow Jesus. The disciples continued to be fisherman. That day, in that moment when Jesus called them, they followed him, but later in the gospels, we read of stories of them fishing and Jesus is with them and guiding them and telling them how to fish and relating to them through stories and teaching about how they can spread the stories of Jesus with others. They still worked and were devoted to following Jesus. And that is how it is for us too! So, take some time TODAY, to ask Jesus how he is calling you. Remember, you are never too old, too young, or too ill-equipped to follow Jesus. The Holy Spirit will give you all you need to do what Jesus calls you to do.

Dear God, thank you for the first disciples who made huge sacrifices to further the gospel of Jesus Christ. Help us to have the same desire to follow Jesus and be his disciples to further your kingdom. Amen.

  July 2021  
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