March 23, 2009

MARCH 23 – WHOEVER SERVES ME MUST FOLLOW

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By Susie Lambright, resident director

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Whoever serves me must follow

DEVOTIONAL: Numerous times throughout the Gospels we hear Jesus command those who desire to serve him to “Follow me.” Usually this command is given to someone in a situation where leaving and following Jesus will cost them something. Sometimes it was a monetary cost, like the rich ruler in John 18:18-25. Sometimes it was at the cost of social expectations, as with the teacher of the law who wasn’t allowed to bury his father in Matthew 18:18-22. Often times it meant the cost of leaving their career or manner of livelihood, like it did for Matthew in Matthew 9:9.

I believe Jesus commanded this of his followers because he wanted them to see right away that a life of service to God meant choosing to turn from what they would naturally gravitate towards. Instead they were to turn towards and follow the ways that Jesus taught, ways that would seem contrary to human logic, but ultimately lead to God’s purposes for their lives. For us today, that may mean choosing to spend our disposable income on missions rather than the latest iPod, or to teach in an inner-city school for smaller wages, or giving up time spent doing things like watching DVDs or TV in order to make time to talk with and worship God. For each person this looks different, though ultimately it leads to the same concept: Our lives are in your hands. Another way of saying it could be that our path will follow God’s.

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Comments (9)

  1. Sometimes it means to follow your husband to a place or a life that you would not choose for yourself! Or it may be a husband following the call to his wife. In the long run, following will be the life God planned for you. This is not always easy to discern. But it is possible to know. Max Lucado tells us a book he wrote that to discern God’s will in your life is possible. If this call sets your heart on fire-God’s fire will help you know that He has planned this for you. How true it is and even at 80 we have found a new place of service! Yes, it set my heart on fire!

    Kitty March 23, 2009 |
  2. Great devotion, Susie!

    Matthew Hochstetler March 23, 2009 |
  3. It is helpful to begin the day with a challlenge. Inspiring! Thank You.

    Mary K. Mishler March 23, 2009 |
  4. That call is not just for the young but also for people like me who are retired and need to sense God’s call to us even at this time in our lives.

    Grace K. Brunner March 23, 2009 |
  5. Susie,

    What a hard but good way to begin the week with an invitation to follow Jesus by “choosing to turn from what [we] would naturally gravitate towards” to serving God and others. I will try to remember this throughout the week as the inertia and gravity of the “same old, same old” tempts to hold me down from choosing to do the imaginative, creative, life energizing acts service to God and others. Thanks for the reminder to do so.

    Jim Brenneman, President, Goshen College March 23, 2009 |
  6. Dear Ms. Lambright,
    Thank you for sharing this inspiring message.I suscribed to receive these devotions because I wanted to become spiritually closer to the Chrisitian community of Goshen though being so far.A message like this one fulfils this expectation.Even the comments have been encouraging.

    Celia Vasquez, SST in Peru local coordinator March 23, 2009 |
  7. Your message for today was just what I needed to hear as I prepare for the business of the day. Thank you

    Catherine Bromell March 23, 2009 |
  8. Thank you for these thoughtful, wise and inspiring words. In a society where the word “sacrifice” has become a modern economic “novelty”, where people are spoon-fed approval for instant gratification and indulgence, it is so uplifting and refreshing to meditate on the idea of “giving up” something, anything even, but especially giving up our will to do the Lord’s calling. While seemingly challenging at first, recall that He also tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden light, (Matthew 11:28-30)-the hard part is throwing off the weight of human temptations!
    Thanks again for the enlightenment.!

    Jane Kohler March 23, 2009 |
  9. I so appreciate this thought today. I wonder if we were to list what things of the world we have given up, how long would the list be? I will begin to make more conscious decisions, saying more “No” to the world and more “yes” to the things of God. Isn’t that what Romans 12: 1-2 is really about? A lifestyle, a mindset of the things
    of God? My prayer, “Holy Spirit, help me keep my mind on Jesus and what I am called to do here on earth for the Kingdom of God”

    sidonie smith March 23, 2009 |