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Following Jesus is worth the cost

Many times people believe things that aren’t true. This causes them to miss out on God’s best. Sometimes it causes them to quit following Jesus – perhaps for a day, sometimes for a lifetime.

Sometimes people believe, "If I'm in the center of God's will, nothing bad will ever happen to me." When something bad happens, these people are tempted to quit doing the good God has called them to do, thinking that they misunderstood God’s call.

Paul gave a list of things he endured in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27. He was tortured with a whip (five times), beaten with rods (three times), stoned and left for dead (once), shipwrecked (three times), and adrift at sea for a night and a day. Yet all this time he was in the center of God’s will, advancing the gospel and writing letters that would become a large part of the New Testament. In Acts 20:23-24 he says “The Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.” (NRSV) Paul knew that the dangers and hardships he endured were not signs that he was on the wrong path.

If you want to follow Jesus, it would be good to look for the opportunities that already surround you. Ask God to show you:

When you ask, you will start to see that you are surrounded by opportunities to help bring God’s kingdom to earth.

Along the way, you may need to stop believing some other statements that aren’t true:

None of these were true for Moses (see Exodus 4), and probably at various times none of them will be true for you. God will ask you to do things that you don’t believe are possible. But with God’s help, they will be.

If you want to follow Jesus, you can’t accurately evaluate his call by:

Sometimes when you are praying for healing, the power seems to get stuck. The person you’re praying for doesn’t receive it. A silent prayer that helps start the flow: God, remove the resistance.

That is a good prayer we could all silently ask in lots of situations. If you’re in a setting where you want God’s kingdom to come but the power doesn’t seem to be flowing, silently ask, “God, please remove the resistance.” You don’t need to know whether the resistance is inside you or somewhere else. Just let God remove the resistance so God’s kingdom can come.

When praying for God’s will to be done, if nothing happens ask, “God, please remove the resistance.”

When praying for God’s name to be known, if there is no transformation, ask “God, please remove the resistance.”

When asking for Christ to be lifted high if nothing happens, ask “God, please remove the resistance.”

Some people know all about Jesus but don’t follow him. “God, please remove the resistance.”

If someone asked, “What’s stopping you from following Jesus?”, the answer is “Nothing.” Only you are stopping you from doing what Jesus asks you to do. Your fears may stop you, perhaps, or your hesitations. But your arms aren’t in chains and your legs aren’t in shackles. You have freedom to do what Jesus asks you to do. Today is a great day for to get at it.

God, please remove the resistance. Thank you. Amen!


Here are some verses you can study:

Bible verse to memorize
Mark 1:17 (NRSV)
Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people."

Reflection questions
What are some of the general things God has called you to do?
What are some of the specific things God has called you to do?


Experience the joy of a Bible-based church.

Visit La Jolla Lutheran
Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

7111 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, California, 92037

858-454-6459
LaJollaLutheran@gmail.com

14 miles north of downtown San Diego


Messages

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The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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