We all know the old hymn, “Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow”. We sing it quite often in worship services across the nation regardless of the denomination. It is a great invitational song for getting people to commit to the mission fields. But I wonder if we really hear the words that we are singing or if we are just making noise. I think we need to change the song for a while and sing “Where He leads me, will I follow?”. Will I go on a mission trip? Oh no, can’t spare the time for that. Will I visit those in prisons? Nope, not my calling. Will I visit the sick in the hospitals and pray for their healing? Again, I just don’t feel the call. Will I feed the hungry? Well, you know I give to charities to do that. Will I walk across the street to witness to my neighbor? You know, they might be offended, really need to be careful there. Will I ask a lost family member if we could pray together? Well. they are not going to listen, they know I’m not perfect. Don’t I need a calling to do those things? Well, here is our calling,
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matt. 28:18-20
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Saul used to sit at the feet of Gamaliel learning about the Old Testament and the Jewish traditions and laws. He became very zealous in defending the Jewish customs even to the point of putting Christians to death. I think we can be very sure that in those times, he never considered the fact that Jesus was training him for a specific purpose. It probably never crossed his mind that he would be the missionary of the ages and the man responsible for writing most of the New Testament. The transition from Saul to Paul took over three years. Our salvation experience was probably not as dramatic as that of Paul. Nevertheless, it is just as necessary as that of Paul for the spread of the Gospel and the increase in the Kingdom of God. Let each of us look at our lives and experiences. What do those things tell us about what God has trained us to do to add to His Kingdom here on earth? We cannot come to the conclusion that we are trained to do God’s bidding, that would devalue the work of Jesus on the Cross and our value to God. Every person God has called to salvation has a part to play in the Kingdom here on earth. Ask God to show you what that part is and then, get up and go!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Jesus is asking us the same question today, “If you don’t accept Me and My words, whose words will you accept?” Do we answer as Peter did, “To whom would we go?” If we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and His words give us eternal life, why would we look anywhere else? We must understand that hearing the Gospel and knowing the Scriptures is not salvation. The “head” knowledge has to become “heart” knowledge. The devil knows the Scriptures but he denies the Kingship of Jesus. Unless we become “born again” and allow the Holy Spirit to make us a new creation, we are not the children of God. There are people who go to church every Sunday, but never understand that they have to do more than just hear the Word. They have to believe it and allow it to work inside of them. Why did Jesus choose Judas knowing what Judas would eventually do? The same reason that He died on a cross for all of us knowing that not all of us would accept that truth. It is a love that the human mind cannot understand.
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.–John 3:16 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
We have been commanded to “love our neighbors”. How do we do that? Let’s consider this fact: If you are a Christian, you have a free gift that your neighbor needs. If you love your neighbor, why don’t you talk to them and offer them that gift. After all, as an anonymous person once said: “The Gospel has come to you because it is on its way to someone else.” Since that is true, we need to keep it going until it circles the globe. Since it is free to you and to them, this should be an easy task. The reason it is sometimes so awkward is that our neighbors don’t know that we care about them. And as it has been said, many times, “They don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” So, let them know you care and share a free gift with them, the Good News of Jesus Christ and His love for them. And, as Paul told Timothy: “go, whether, it is an opportune time or not”. In simpler terms, make time to care and the returns on your time will be worth much more than anything else you could have done.
1 After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He did not want to travel in Judea, because some evil people there wanted to kill him. 2 It was time for the Feast of Shelters. 3 So Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You should leave here and go to Judea so your followers there can see the miracles you do.4 Anyone who wants to be well known does not hide what he does. If you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (Even Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him.) 6 Jesus said to his brothers, “The right time for me has not yet come, but any time is right for you. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I tell it the evil things it does. 8 So you go to the feast. I will not go yet to this feast, because the right time for me has not yet come.”9 After saying this, Jesus stayed in Galilee.John 7:1-9 (NCV)
Jesus knew that He would be going down to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles. It was one of the three festivals that required all Jews to go to Jerusalem to celebrate. He also knew that He could not take a large entourage with Him to attract attention to Himself. If Jesus was discovered in Judea (the region between Galilee and Jerusalem), He knew He would be detained and possibly killed. If He were murdered by those hired by the religious leaders before His time and in the wrong manner, then He would not be able to fulfill all prophecy concerning His death. How many times have we missed God’s best plan for us because we ran ahead and did a “good” thing? God has a specific plan and a specific timing for all of us to accomplish His plan. If we miss it, someone else can do our job, but no one else was, is, or ever will be qualified to take the place of Jesus. Between “good” and “God” , there is only one little “o” of difference. But, OH! what a difference it makes. Not in God’s eternal plan which will be accomplished whether we cooperate or not. The difference is in how God can use us here and, more importantly, in the rewards we lay up in heaven.
66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.—John 6:66-70 (NLT)
Jesus is asking us the same question today, “If you don’t accept Me and My words, whose words will you accept?” Do we answer as Peter did, “To whom would we go?” If we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and His words give us eternal life, why would we look anywhere else? We must understand that hearing the Gospel and knowing the Scriptures is not salvation. The “head” knowledge has to become “heart” knowledge. The devil knows the Scriptures but he denies the Kingship of Jesus. Unless we become “born again” and allow the Holy Spirit to make us a new creation, we are not the children of God. There are people who go to church every Sunday, but never understand that they have to do more than just hear the Word. They have to believe it and allow it to work inside of them. Why did Jesus choose Judas knowing what Judas would eventually do? The same reason that He died on a cross for all of us knowing that not all of us would accept that truth. It is a love that the human mind cannot understand 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.–John 3:16 (NLT)
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Didn’t God choose poor people in the world to become rich in faith and to receive the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6 Yet, you show no respect to poor people. Don’t rich people oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Don’t they curse the good name of Jesus, the name that was used to bless you? 8 You are doing right if you obey this law from the highest authority: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 9 If you favor one person over another, you’re sinning, and this law convicts you of being disobedient.–James 2:5-9 (GW)
We are all familiar with the commandment that Jesus called the second most important commandment. We believe it, but how do we walk that out in our everyday lives? How do we show the world around us that we love Jesus and that we love them? Of course, we can see those in need physically, financially and materially. We should always fulfill those needs as much as we possibly can. But what about those with spiritual needs? If our neighbor had a deadly disease and we had the cure, would we withhold it? Yet, there are those in our families, our circle of friends, and in our neighborhood, who have a deadly disease called sin. 15 Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin. Then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death–James 1:15 (ERV)
We have the cure for that disease, why don’t we share it with everyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Remember, we were once infected with that disease and someone shared the cure with us. “Go and do likewise”.