Luke 9:57-62 ESV
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Yet another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’”
It is one thing to claim that you will do something. It is another thing to follow through with it and to actually do it. Some people make professions of faith in Jesus Christ without thought to what that actually means, so they don’t ever actually follow Christ with their lives. Nothing changes. They keep on in their sin. For their decision was not based on knowledge but on emotion. For they were not taught that they needed to count the cost of following Jesus before they made a commitment to follow him.
Others who Jesus calls to follow him have all sorts of excuses for why they can’t follow the Lord. There is always something that keeps them from committing their lives to Jesus Christ and from forsaking their lives of living in sin and for self. No matter how long ago it was that they first sensed his call upon their lives, they are still full of excuses for why they are still floundering in their sins and for why they are not yet following him in obedience to his will and purpose for their lives. Always excuses!
And then there are those who make a commitment to follow Jesus with their lives but it is in words only for they want to continue living in deliberate and habitual sin. They love their sin more and they don’t want to give it up. They were just hoping for a free ride to heaven with no cost to them. And so Jesus’ response to them is that they are not worthy of him. They are not fit for the kingdom of God, and so they will not enter into heaven’s gates. But they will die in their sins because they refused to die to their sins.
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Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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