Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finding Our Way to Jesus

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee.  They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.”  Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.  Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory.  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone.  But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.  Those who love their life in this world will lose it.  Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.  Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am.  And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. 
John 12:20-26 (NLT)
There are enough confusing issues in life today to destroy just about anyone’s sense of direction and purpose. 
In today’s text we have the two foundational truths for followers of Jesus that give both direction and eternal purpose. 
The first truth is that following Jesus means telling others.  Philip and Andrew found themselves in conversation with others who were curious about Jesus.  They went together to ask Jesus what to do.  This example is “Christianity-101”; we always take our questions and issues to Jesus in prayer.  A servant always seeks the Master’s will; we always seek to honor the Master.
The second truth is that serving Jesus won’t necessarily make you popular or rich.  Jesus’ response to Philip and Andrew was a glimpse of the passion to come, Christ’s arrest, crucifixion, death and resurrection.  In this answer the Lord was setting the tone for all true Christian living – unselfish serving is life in God.
There is much good being done by the Church in this world – true ministry that reaches many for the kingdom of God; much of it is done in unselfish submission to the will of God.
Then again, there is much done that is driven by worldly agenda; selfishness dies hard!
Some preach a so-called “Gospel” who are really proclaiming the opposite of these two foundational truths.  The preachers of personal prosperity point you in a direction away from unselfishness, and toward greed.  Of necessity this violates both foundational issues.  When “following Jesus” means amassing personal wealth and popularity, you can hardly be concerned about telling others about Jesus, or giving unselfishly.
But, let me say it one more time, selfishness dies hard.
If you’re interested in following the real Jesus, you have to kill the selfishness within.  That’s what He did in Gethsemane the night before the crucifixion:
“My Father!  If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.  Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”  Matthew 26:39b (NLT)
If you’re interested in following the real Jesus, it has got to be HIS will, not mine.

For You Today

I have a probing question I must answer every day when I first wake up, and I recommend it if you want to be a follower of Jesus Christ – whose will am I seeking today?
This question will renew your purposes to live a life honoring to God, and set your direction for the day to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

[1] Title Image: Peter McDermott, via Wikimedia Commons

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