“Earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “I was reading in Mark’s gospel and I saw something in a single verse that pretty much sums up everything that’s supposed to happen with a person’s faith walk, but probably too often doesn’t.”
“Everything about that in a single verse?” I replied. “It must be a long verse!”
“No,” Stan said, “actually it’s just a few words.”
“Okay,” I replied, “you’ve got 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.”
“It seems to me,” Stan replied, “that’s what I’m supposed to do, as well as everyone else. We are to leave the crowd we are hanging with, when it’s not hanging with Jesus, and take Him with us.”
“Take Jesus with us?” I said. “What does that look like?”
“Discipleship,” was Stan’s one-word answer. And then he added, “It looks like the basic first two steps of discipleship, and then the third step with a twist.”
“A twist?” I replied. “In what way?”
“Let’s look at the first two steps,” Stan said. “We are to deny self, which, in this instance, would be denying or leaving the crowd that’s not hanging with Jesus. Secondly, we are to take up a different crowd, one that is hanging with Jesus.”
“Okay,” I said, “And then what’s the third-step twist?”
“As we follow Him, we are are to take Him with us wherever we go,” Stan replied.
“What does that include?” I asked.
“It looks to me,” Stan replied, “that ‘wherever’ is probably ‘everywhere’!”
Bible verses to consider:
And leaving the multitude, they took Him 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. Thank you for those people you sent into my life so I could know and accept the truth of your free and gracious provision. I also thank you 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 in my own way apart from you. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live this life 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, when, and where you take Jesus with you as a disciple, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?