To Follow Jesus
My (Shayne McCusker) notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2014 Issue – ‘The Great Legacy’
Today’s text for reading and meditation is:
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV), we hear Jesus teaching His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I’ll quote a lot from today’s study, because I believe the subject of this study is poorly understood by many people. I know, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to extract from Jesus, through persistent prayer – His project plan for my life – not realising that I already had sufficient information to undertake His will.
Selwyn writes: “It is understandable that in seeking answers to the everyday anxieties that overshadow our lives and to the decisions we have to make, we sometimes grow confused.
In a sincere attempt to please God we can tie ourselves into knots trying to find guidance. Today’s command from Jesus cuts like a sharp knife created by our perplexities concerning guidance and dispels much of the confusion that exists about this subject.”
I think the quote taken from Gerald Sittser’s book (The Will of God as a Way of Life), is very helpful. His words, as follows: ‘We may wish that God would tell us exactly what to do, where to go, and how to choose. Yet Jesus only requires that we make sure our heart is good, our motives are pure, and our basic direction is right, pointing toward the ‘true north’ of the kingdom of God.
We can in good conscience, choose from among any number of reasonable alternatives, and continue to do the will of God. In the end what matters is that we seek God’s kingdom and righteousness.’
In becoming a follower of Jesus, we surrender ourselves to the will of His Spirit, who resides in our heart and guides us while we are on our journey home.
In John 17:18, we hear Jesus say to His Father: ‘As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.‘ And this is our mission, to go out into the world and to make God known, which can be expressed in the well known words – to make disciples of all nations.
The earlier verses of John 17, give us a concise account of our mission – to follow Jesus by continuing His work here on earth. John 17:1-4, 6-8: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. … I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.”
We follow Jesus because we love God; we make God known to this world by loving others in the same way that Jesus loves us. In following Jesus, we seek His kingdom; in submitting ourselves to His Spirit – we seek His righteousness. This is God’s will.
Your views on today’s study?