I am on my third read of Follow Me, A Call To Die. A Call To Live, by David Platt. I can’t say that about many books…off the top of my head I can’t say that about any other book but the Bible. What’s so special about this one? The back of the book gave me a hint as to why this book is special.
What did Jesus really mean when He said, “Follow Me?” Is it possible for people to say they believe in Jesus but not truly be born again? Is it possible for people to claim they have accepted Christ into their hearts yet not actually be Christians?
The answers lie in the fact that when Jesus says follow me and you take him seriously, your life will not be boring, but there is a cost. Following Jesus is not “invitation to pray a prayer. It is a summons to lose your life.” (Platt)
The author gives a thorough explanation of salvation and Jesus means when he summons us to follow him. He goes on to explain how we can follow Jesus with all our heart, mind and soul and then how we can disciple others to follow Him. He uses the example of how he and his wife went about adopting their children and parallels that experience in how God adopts us as His children. It’s all God. He summons us to follow Him and goes out of His way to get us.
Do we realize the weight of the one who has invited us to follow him? He is worthy of more than church attendance and casual association; he is worthy of total abandonment and supreme adoration. (Platt)
Halfway through the question is posed…
Do I make disciples because I have some sense of duty or because it has become my souls’ supreme desire? As a follower of Jesus Christ do I have the desire to reproduce other disciples?
The book ends with “how the life of Christ in me might be multiplied through me in the world. The author includes a Personal Disciple-Making Plan asking several questions…with several sub questions under each one.
- How will I fill my mind with truth?
- How will I fuel my affections for God?
- How will I share God’s love as a witness in the world?
- How will I show God’s love as a member of a church?
- How will I spread God’s glory among all peoples?
- How will I make disciple makers among a few people?
Not only is this book an encouragement in how to follow Jesus radically and without reserve but is also a handbook in how to make disciples. This book will challenge you to be ALL that God has called you to be. You will read it more than once.
In Luke 5:1-16, a leper is healed by Jesus. Sounds like Jesus had a busy day as verse 15 says
“great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.”
But verse 16 tells from where he draws his strength to go on for another day,
“But he would withdraw to desolate places to pray.”
Cross references indicate this was a continual practice for Jesus. With increasing numbers in the crowd that followed him and the demands on his time, even our Savior found he needed to spend considerable times in prayer. This reminded me of 1 Thessalonians 5:17;
“…pray without ceasing.”
A few questions came to mind as I studied the Luke passage…
- Am I in an attitude of prayer throughout my day?
- Is my day marked by ongoing fellowship with God?
- Am I aware of being in God’s presence throughout the day?
- What keeps me from spending time in God’s presence on a regular basis?
I answered some of these questions by going to God’s Word to use as my compass in praying. I pray God would…
- teach me the meaning of His statutes,
- fill me with Spirit so I will always keep them
- help me understand His instruction
- help me love His law with all my heart,
- help me take pleasure in the path God has set before me.
- help me to stay on the path He has set me on.
Praying God would turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, turning my heart to the Lord and not to material gain.Longing for your decrees. Give me your heart O God.(Ps. 119:33-40)
And a desolate place to pray.
Another excellent message by my favorite pastor. Motherhood and the Bible. Women love the BIble.
It’s that time of year when the farmer sows his seed. I was reminded of the planting process on my recent visit to the Midwest.
When my dad was still farming it seemed he started working on his machinery mid-March, getting plows and planters ready for the field. Weather permitting, he was in the field sometime in April. He planted corn and soybeans, hopefully getting the seed planted by mid to late May. Then he waited. If he worried if it would rain or not rain, or if it was hot enough to make the seed sprout, I never knew. If he fretted about the wind or possible tornadoes that would take out a crop within in seconds, I didn’t know that either. The farmer plants…then waits.
This spring in Iowa has not been friendly to the farmer. The week I was there some fields were full of seed in the ground while others waited. It snowed several inches, then it rained thinking we were going to need an ark. If the planted seed did not get enough warmth to germinate it would rot in the ground and have to be planted all over again. Would it do any good for the farmer to worry? Would fretting, worrying and swearing at the rain make the snow and rain stop? I didn’t hear any swearing, but I’m guessing with those conditions it’s possible.
I also heard a sermon on Matthew 6:34.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
The point of the sermon was if I am worrying then I am not trusting my heavenly Father who clothes the lilies of the fields and feeds the sparrows, which by the way are a nuisance to farmers. If God cares about flowers and birds He will take care of everything I need. Does worrying add anything to my life or change anything? (Luke 12:25) No.
I’d rather live in peace (John 14:27; Colossians 3:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:16)
I want to trust God knows best whether it is raining, snowing or clear blue skies, and waiting on Him. (Isaiah 40:31)
Living in an area of the country where there is dramatic season change like the Midwest or Northeast you wait as patiently as you can for spring to arrive. In the dead of a central New York winter with white, brown and dead all around, it seems nothing will ever be green again. Will the grass ever need mowing? Will the trees have big green leaves on them? And will our deck be full of vivid annuals ever again? Questions I asked myself this past long winter. It seemed to go on forever.
Another clue that winter would not leave was the fact I have written my monthly updates for 2013 since January. Honestly there wasn’t much to report, February, March and April were pretty uneventful. I did work on my counseling course which is finished. I also read throughout these cold winter months. You can find what I read here.
March 1 I was able to get back to exercising after several months off. I bought a used treadmill and put it in my mom cave where I put some miles on. I am now back **jawking** at the park and still using my treadmill.
The end of April I visited my mom, sisters and their families and good friends in Iowa. A great way to bring in May as I was there for Mayday when it snowed around 6″ of snow. Will it never end was my thought as I called home to New York where Lauren was getting a sunburn.
Tonight is supposed to be freezing with rain/snow tomorrow. Hoping this is the end of it. I spent a wonderful Mother’s Day with all my babies who made me a mother home for the day.
These posts are more for me as I want to have a reminder of what happens or doesn’t happen each month. I wrote a monthly synopsis in 2012 and enjoy looking back on events I have forgotten. Anyone want to take a jab at what
This post was written two years ago but it pretty much sums up how I’m feeling this weekend. Hannah and Kelsey are home from Albany, Lauren is on the couch with one of them, and Justin will join us for Mother’s Day.
Today my heart is overflowing because of so many women God has brought into my life.
Sadly, I didn’t always feel this way. For many years I was always looking in the rear view mirror looking at who I had left behind.
First and foremost my own mom, I love you mom!
My biological sisters Julie and Janet whom I wish I could see everyday but it is so cool when we get together it’s like we were never apart.
My four children who make my life full and joyful…you are tattooed on my heart.
My mother-in-love whom I love very much and sweet sister-in-laws.
And my sisters in Christ in Iowa, Kansas, Indiana, here in New York, and around the world.
I wish I could all of you a Hallmark card that expresses my heart to you, I wish I could give you a yellow rose of friendship..because that is what you are to me. All of you are God’s gift to me and I am very rich. (Originally written in Mother’s Day 2011)
May God be glorified in all of our lives…whether we’re mothers or not.