“I was reading in Mark’s gospel earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “and I saw a statement in a single verse that pretty much sums up everything that I think is supposed to happen with my faith walk.”
“Everything in a single verse?” I replied. “Must be a long verse!”
“No,” Stan said, “actually just a few words.”
“Okay,” I replied, “you have my attention. What were you looking at?”
“A single phrase,” Stan replied, “where it says that the disciples left the multitude and took Jesus with them. That’s what my faith walk is supposed to look like. I am to leave the multitude, or the crowd, and take Jesus with me.”
“Take Jesus with you?” I said. “What’s that look like?”
“Discipleship,” was Stan’s one-word answer. “It looks like the three steps of discipleship, with the twist in the third step that I take Jesus with me as I follow Him!”
“So,” I said, “you deny yourself by not staying with the crowd that is walking apart from Him, then you take up walking with Him as He wants, and then you follow. Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “I follow by taking Him with me wherever, however, and whenever He wants.”
“And the ‘whenever’ is always, right?” I said.
“Right again, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile.
Bible verses to consider:
And leaving the multitude, they took Him (Jesus) along with them. Mark 4:36.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus so that all who believe in Him can have life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you for those you sent into my life so I could know and accept the truth. Thank you, too, for the availability of discipleship so I can deny myself, take up what you have for me to take up, and follow wherever, however, and whenever you lead. I confess that too often I do not take Jesus with me in the sense that I choose to walk on my own on this side of eternity. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live the life you have for me to live without being a full-time disciple. Please help me to follow every step of your lead into the deepest possible relationship with you for as long as you keep me here. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you taken Jesus with you in the sense you have accepted God’s free and gracious gift of the cross so you know you will spend eternity in His presence? If no, why? What’s in the way? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with taking Jesus with you on this side of eternity? If you sense the need for change in how and when you take Jesus with you as a disciple, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?