April 8: Following Jesus

Read Mark 3:13-19 and Luke 10:38-42

It was just a few weeks ago that Pastor Nick posed a question related to our commitment to Jesus. “Are we asking Jesus to follow us, or are we committed to follow Him?” In other words, who is following whom? Is Jesus just our first responder who rescues us from life’s difficulties? Is He just our resort attendant who serves up amenities for our personal comfort? In reality, a decision to follow is a commitment to allow Him to lead on His terms, for His purposes, and to His glory.

The purpose of this study over the next two weeks is to more clearly identify what His expectations and purposes are when He invites us to follow. Today’s text allows us insight as we look at His selection of the early disciples. Did you catch His dual purpose in Mark 3? In selecting the twelve, He chose them that…

  1. They might be with Him
  2. He might send them out

The first of those is a matter of being. The second is one of doing. If you are familiar with the two sisters, the one is depicted by Mary while the other is lived out by Martha. Today’s focus is on the “be with Him” aspect of following Christ. Jesus yearned to spend time with the twelve. He delighted in a close relationship. He wanted them to hear His teaching, observe His acts of compassion, and experience His ability to transform lives…including their own. He wanted them to learn from Him. He applauded Mary for sitting at His feet and for conversing with Him.

That is His desire for all of His followers. He wants to be with us. We are with Him as we learn from His word, converse with Him in prayer, and exalt Him in worship. It isn’t that “doing” is bad, but is it an outflow of time spent with Him. We need to be with Him so that we know His heart and can lead others closer to Him.

Is there something that needs to change in your time spent with Him? Setting aside time with Him more consistently? Reading/listening more carefully? Praying with greater focus? Worshiping with more intentional discipline?

sbk

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