"COME, follow Me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." "Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 4:19 & Matthew 28:19
I was sharing with my church family just a few days ago about how we (humanity) have really made a mess of things here on earth. Humanity is in dire need of a Savior. Sin is destroying us from the inside out. We've even made a mess of leading others to the Savior. There are preachers and churches that are so worried about how many people they have on the roles and in the pews that they preach a "hurry up and walk down the aisle" salvation or a "it's as easy as can be" salvation, and then they pat each other on the back for a job well done when the get another one. I'm sorry, but you will not find anywhere in Scripture where it is supposed to be done like that. Sure, the call of the Savior is simple: "Come, follow Me." The command of the Savior, too, is simple: "Go and make disciples." But the surrender to the call of the Savior and the surrender to the command of the Savior is not easy at all. Why? Jesus said in Luke 9:23-24, "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." Have you tried to deny yourself lately? How did that go? What about denying yourself daily? Taking the cross up daily? Following Jesus daily? Losing your life daily for the sake of His? Not so easy is it? The plan of salvation is simple, but it is not easy. Don't fall for the "all you gotta do is pray this prayer and walk down this aisle" song and dance. If you surrender to Jesus, then you surrender to the call to "come," and you surrender to the command "go." That doesn't mean that we build up for ourselves safe and beautiful places to worship or nice comfortable lives filled with joy and laughter. I like the way Erwin McManus said it in his book, The Barbarian Way. McManus says, "Jesus did not suffer and die so that we could build for ourselves havens, but so that we might expand the kingdom of His love." In Luke 4:43, Jesus said, "I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." We must "come" to Jesus in complete surrender, complete submission. We must "follow" Him and "go" to advance the kingdom of God, the kingdom of His love. I can't sit here and pretend that I understand why God chose us to be the reflectors of His truth and light. What I can tell you is that a long time ago I did surrender, and I am still surrendering today. I am still saying "yes" as He says, "Come." I am still saying "yes" when He says, "Go." Have you ever said "yes" to the Savior? Are you still saying "yes" to Him today?