Daily Devotion for March 22, 2017

'Discipleship Tested'

Matthew 8:18-23 NASB
Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”
When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.

I find it interesting that Bible Gateway had this portion of scripture subtitled “Discipleship Tested,” because that's EXACTLY what I was feeling called out on this morning! Let me explain...

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea.”
These verses made me wonder: I'm I like one of the “crowd around” Jesus, or am I truly His disciple: one who listens to His “orders,” one who responds to His Words, one ready to go and “depart” whenever and wherever my Savior's Spirit leads?

Then a scribe came and said to Him, 'Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.' Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'”
This interaction caused me to ask: Am I like the scribe, who eagerly proclaimed he would “follow (Jesus) wherever” he went, but then didn't get into the boat? The scribe desired to follow Christ when the following was glorious, miraculous, and easy...but not when he heard discipleship included hardship, suffering and sacrifice...

Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”
These words convicted me: Am I like this so-called disciple, who made his own kingdom and his own agendas first priority, NOT the Lord?

When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.”
Finally, as I considered how I hate boats, I wondered: Am I like one of “His disciples” who willingly “followed” the Son (anywhere! Everywhere!) because Jesus was increasingly becoming their life, their hope, their treasure, their satisfaction, their One great treasure and the One worth living for?

Hmm...

Lord Jesus, please forgive us “followers:” we do not always behave like true disciples who 1) listen to Your “orders,” 2) who respond to Your Words, 3) who are ready to go and “depart” whenever and wherever Your Spirit leads, 4) who willingly follow You (anywhere! Everywhere!) because You are our life, our hope, our treasure, our satisfaction, our One great treasure and the One worth living for! We ask for Your Spirit and Word to keep changing us, Jesus, so we increasingly lay down those things holding us back from full-time discipleship, from full-time following our greatest treasure and biggest reward—You! We ask this in Your name, for the spreading of the Gospel and for Your glory...

AMEN

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