“I’ve been making my way through Mark’s gospel again,” Stan mentioned one morning, “and I ran across something earlier this morning that reminded me of why it took me so long to come to faith, pursue a closer walk with God after coming to faith, as well as the constant need to pay attention.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s something the apostle Peter said to Jesus that for way too long I couldn’t say and for way too often I can’t say now.”
“Something you couldn’t and can’t say? How so?”
“Mark records that Peter said to Jesus that he, along with the other disciples, had left everything to follow Jesus. While the context of Peter’s statement may indicate that Peter was saying to Jesus what he and the other had done and, by inference, was asking, ‘What are we going to get out it?’ there is for me a clear question of which part of ‘everything’ do I not understand?”
“Oh,” I responded, “like in the ‘deny self’ part of being a disciple. It doesn’t mean to deny a little bit of self or some that is less than all of self. Is that the point?”
“You’ve got it, my friend,” Stan said. “And it goes on to the next two steps of discipleship. I’m to take up everything that I am to take up, not just a little bit. As well, in the third step, I am to follow Jesus. Period. Wherever and whenever.”
“Not just some of the time,” I commented, “or not just in some of the direction.”
“Exactly!” Stan exclaimed. “And, for me, Peter’s statement is a good reminder that I need to examine my ‘everything’ on a regular basis to see if there is anything in the ‘everything’ that I have not left.”
“Then what?” I asked. “If you find that you have not left everything, what do you do about it?”
“I think you know,” Stan replied. “Confess and repent. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead, while I choose to follow, in removing all of the ‘everything’ that remains to be left behind.”
Bible verses to consider:
Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything to follow You.” Mark 10:28.
If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the free and gracious gift of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you, too, for wanting me to be a disciple of Jesus while you leave me on this side of eternity. I confess that it took me a long time to be able to say that I had left “everything” in order to follow. As well, there are times now when I do not continue to leave everything in order to follow as a disciple. Please help me in following your lead so that I truly leave everything you have for me to leave behind. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers in the name of the One you have for me to follow. Amen.
Think on this: Have you chosen to follow Jesus all the way to heaven so that you have the assurance of salvation? If no, why? What might be holding you back from accepting God’s free and gracious gift that only needs to be accepted by faith? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with leaving “everything” behind in order to follow Jesus on this side of eternity? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense there is anything of the everything that has not been left behind, how is that going to be changed? Is that something you want? Why or why not?