Have you been called?


                Then he said to another, “Follow me.”  But the man said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”  And another also said, “Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”  But Jesus said to him, “No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9: 59-62.)


                Jesus Christ called many; few chose to answer his call.  The calling of God demanded immediate and absolute obedience.  When Jesus called Simon and Andrew they were hauling in their fishing nets, and we read, “They immediately left their nets and followed him.”  The priority of the first man in this scripture was to attend to the burial of his father.  Jesus beckoned him to focus on the living, not the dead (the man’s Father was obviously a non-believer.)  The second man, desiring to return home and say farewell to his family, placed his loved ones ahead of the work of God.  The Jewish people were very familiar with agriculture: plowing, planting, and reaping were intimate aspects of their existence (which is why Jesus portrayed the men’s lack of compliance with a farming illustration.)  When driving the ox and the plow, the farmers eyes had to be focused on the field ahead; looking backward served no purpose other than to distract him from his necessary work.  The world is filled with diversions, obstacles, and enticements; distractions are dangerous; they can prevent the believer from reaching their eternal destination.

                According to the national highway safety commission, 80% of all crashes involve driver distraction.  The statistics proved true for a man named Stephen in 1983.  One beautiful sunny morning he hopped in his new Mercedes Benz; with the top down and the wind in his face, he set out for an important appointment.  As he drove up the coast of Southern California, he passed along the beach.  His attentions unexpectedly turned to a young blond woman wearing a bikini.  As she jogged passed his car, his eyes, heart, and mind began to follow along with her; the image of a complete stranger took priority over the road, his destination, and his new wife Sandy.  Suddenly, he smashed in to the back end of a Chevelle that had come to a complete stop in his lane.  Although his body remained uninjured, his pride, and the front end of his Mercedes weren’t quite that lucky.  While driving, the road, and what lies ahead must be the priority; it is more important than anything else; to reach the destination, one must not lose focus or get distracted.

                Jesus Christ has called many, but few have responded in the serious and immediate manner required for discipleship.  If you have felt the call of the Lord upon your life, let go of this existence and grab hold of eternal things.  Make God your immediate priority, and your everlasting Lord.  Preach the gospel to all those you meet; do the works of God, and avoid distractions; this life is a passing dream; keep your eyes, mind, and heart, focused on God, and you will surely reach your divine destination.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You would be our first priority.  Be the master of our lives.  We desire to be Your disciples and to follow You completely.  Help us to avoid distractions.  May our eyes continually be focused upon You.  Give us the wisdom and strength to finish what we have started, and to continue onward, until we reach Your Eternal Kingdom.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name; Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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