I was reading through Mark last night. As I was reading I couldn’t help but notice that under almost every heading were words about Jesus coming, going, entering, leaving, or going out. And later Jesus begins saying, “Follow me”.
As I may have noted in previous posts, I am an introvert. Most days I would rather hide away in my house, spending time alone with Jesus at my kitchen table. I would rather welcome Him in than go out with Him. I would rather write about Him than speak about Him. I would rather pray to Him than do the social work for Him. But staying put is not what Jesus has called me to do, and it’s not what He has called you to do either.
Jesus wants to sit at your kitchen table. He wants to be invited in. He wants to show you intimate and daily Grace and He wants to change you through His love for you. But then, He will ask you to follow Him. The book of Mark showed me last night that Jesus does not stand still. He rests at times, but only to pray and gain the strength to go back out again. And to us who are called to follow Him, this means that there must be movement in our own lives.
I have experienced Grace while standing at my sink and have been changed daily by the faithful work of the One who loves me, Jesus. And I have spoken about Jesus’ desire to invite others to sit at my kitchen table with Him too. I have been compelled to ask Jesus into every ordinary part of my life, so that I may see His extraordinary goodness. But now I am seeing that the real work of Christ is that I come and go with Him. The real work of Christ is that I step out of my front door and bring Jesus with me to the front door of those He is calling to be saved, to those who have yet to experience and acknowledge His Grace.
Luke 9:23-24 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Maybe losing your life for Jesus means losing the desires that don’t include Him. Losing your life for Jesus might look more like losing your priorities and making His work for the Kingdom come first. To lose your life for Jesus is really to give your life to Him. He says we must take up our cross daily, and He gives us enough daily Grace to do this. Stepping out of my front door and into the work of God’s kingdom to which I am called requires me to lay down my previously laid plans and to instead put on my sandals and go where Christ goes. It requires me to let Jesus take the lead.
Micah 2:13 One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head.
We know that when we follow Jesus we do not go alone. Jesus has assured us that He will be with us to the very end of the age. But not going alone means that there are other people sitting at the table with us. There are other children that God has called. We were never meant to walk this earthly life alone, and while Jesus came to save you personally, He also came to personally save the whole world. He loves you, and He changes you by His Grace. But to love Jesus back means that you also will love His people. They are connected. They are family. There is always more room at Jesus’ kitchen table, and because of this there must always be more room at our own.
Go where Jesus goes. Walk where Jesus walks. Speak with whom Jesus speaks. Taking up our cross daily is not easy, but it’s what binds us together as family. If we want to follow Jesus, we must allow His Grace to rise up and leave our kitchen tables. We must take Jesus’ hand, walk out our front doors, and follow Jesus into the world.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.