Forsaking All and Following Jesus
By Joe Keim
May 1, 2018
One by one, Jesus called out and said follow me. Peter and Andrew said yes. James and John said yes. So did eight others. They dropped all—their jobs, incomes and family and followed immediately.
They were ordinary people like us—middle-class, family men, going about their business. They lied, stole, murmured, lost their temper, swore, struggled with belief, dealt with jealousy, hid behind closed doors, and slept through some of Jesus' most anguishing moments.
In spite of who they were and where they came from, in spite of their failures, shortcomings and total mess ups, Jesus loved them unconditionally and continued to believe in them.
All but John and Judas died a martyr's death—they were beheaded, crucified, thrown off cliffs, beat to death, stoned, dipped in boiling oil, imprisoned, cursed at, dragged behind horses, and flayed to death by a whip.
So we see that at some point they became believers, and when that happened, they refused to get tangled up in this old world and its wicked and empty affairs. They refused to lose focus of eternity, and they felt fervently about passing the Faith on to the next generation. Why? Because they desired a better country; that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city (Hebrews 11:16).
Today we know these men as being the very foundation of Christ's beloved church, and their names are inscribed on the twelve foundations of New Jerusalem.
Oh God, let the testimonies of these forefathers be a challenge to us this day. Awaken us from our slumber. We have turned your blessings and prosperity into selfishness. We've become lazy and weak in our faith. Break out heart and help us make the name of Jesus more important than cartoon, movie characters and sports figures. We have strayed away from You. We are spending more time passing this world and all its garbage on to our children than we are passing the Faith on. Our children and grandchildren must know about Jesus and our forefathers - by name - and what they endured to pass the Faith on to us. Yes, Lord, break our hearts, even if it means persecution. I can't take more fake Christianity. It's so much worse than fake news!
— Joe Keim
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