crossing the line…

Posted: November 5, 2011 in Video Clips

The decision to follow Jesus is not one to be taken lightly. It promises to be difficult and even costly. It is so much more than “Ask Jesus into your heart.” In fact, Jesus draws a line in the sand, lays out the requirements, and asks “So who’s with me?” This is a challenge for me everyday. I must ask myself, “How far am I willing to go with Jesus?” Being His disciple is more than going to church on earth and enjoying heaven when we die (although it is certainly not less than that!). It’s about denying yourself (your ambitions, your selfish desires, your comfort, your safety) and following Him—wherever He leads. What if He leads us to hard places? What if He leads us out of our comfort zones? What if He leads us to forsake our desires for His? We must count the cost before we too quickly claim the name of “Christian.” Becoming a disciple of Christ is many things—exciting, fulfilling, compelling—but it is not easy.

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.’”

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Comments
  1. Tyler says:

    You speak about Jesus as though you have an intimate personal relationship with him. How, exactly, do you communicate with Jesus?

    • mikeblackaby says:

      Hey Tyler! The Bible lays out what Jesus requires of those who want to follow Him. Although many people say they are following Jesus, their lives look nothing like His. We know we are truly following when our lives start to reflect His. So how exactly does that work? Some of it is simply obeying the commands He gave and following the example He set. But it is more personal than that, and to understand it we must understand a little bit about the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—One God in three persons). Jesus walked physically on earth for about 33 years before ascending back to the Father in heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Obviously, while He was physically walking on earth, one could physically follow where he lead them (which is what the 12 disciples did). But before His ascension back to heaven He told the disciples He must leave, and they were freaking out about it! How could they follow if He left? He comforts them with these words in John 14:15-17 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.” The simple fact is that people all over the world could never follow Jesus if He remained here in physical form, limited by physical space. So what God did was send the Holy Spirit to dwell within any believer who puts their faith in Jesus. This is what the disciples experienced and preached (read Acts 2). So the Holy Spirit is a counselor. A physical counselor gives you advice, and then you leave their office to try on your own. But with the Holy Spirit, He actually goes WITH you. So how do you know and follow Jesus? Through the Holy Spirit. When we pray, Jesus is our High Priest that represents us before the Father (Hebrews 4:14, 1 John 2:1). Then the Holy Spirit guides us and helps us live in obedience to the Father by walking as Jesus walked. You get to know God through prayer, the Bible, religious experience, and by living life with other believers (church). Through all of this, a personal relationship grows in which God changes you as you get to know Him better. To be honest, it’s not something one can fully understand from the outside. Once you have had a radical encounter with Jesus where your life is flipped upside down, the rest starts to fall into place. Does that make any sense? The best way to communicate with Jesus is through prayer. Read the Bible and pray to the Jesus you discover in those pages (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Then watch to see what happens.

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