Saturday, August 1, 2020

What Is That To You?

Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. John 21:22

Jesus has always been calling to a personal relationship. He called each of His disciples to follow Him at the beginning of His ministry, and now He calls each one of us to follow Him.

We live in a culture where people are constantly looking to others, and to the group to determine what they should or shouldn’t do. The “group” decides what is right and wrong. Everything is determined by the consensus of the majority, or even sometimes by the very vocal minority.

This article is not about politics, even though this same phenomenon occurs there as well. I want to consider carefully our individual lives, and in particular as it relates to our relationship with Jesus. Who determines what that relationship is to be like? Who determines where that relationship carries you? Who is in control of that relationship?

I can see that I will get into some trouble here. We live in a culture that values individual rights and individual power over ones own life. However, when we enter a relationship with Jesus, we will need to cede that right and power to Him. The relationship will never flourish and deepen if we are set on being the one that establishes the boundaries and the direction of the relationship.

I also want to note that as Jesus called more disciples, He did not say “follow us,” He always says follow me. When Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, he makes sure to qualify it “as I follow Christ.” He is inviting us to follow Christ just as he does. We can read more about Paul’s relationship with Jesus in the third chapter of Philippians.

A couple of months back, I wrote about walking with Jesus. I noted that He approached the two men on the road to Emmaus, and walked with them. That is personal.

Consider Philippians 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out  your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This verse is not about doing works to stay saved. It is about each individual and their relationship to the Savior.

We don’t need a group decision on what is right or wrong, God’s Word provides that. We don’t need a group decision on what path we should be taking, we need to walk with our Lord in very close communion. So many of God’s precious people are following whatever the latest worldly fad is, and have no real relationship with their Lord.

I don’t want this to sound like we don’t need each other in the body of Christ, but our fellowship as an assembly of God’s people is directly related to each individual’s relationship to Jesus. Our fellowship with Him will determine our fellowship with one another.

Saints, it is so late now. in Romans 13:11-12, Paul says the night is far spent and that we should wake up. I can’t say it strongly enough. Time is short. This age is coming to an end. You cannot and will not take anything from here, except your relationship with Jesus. Please make it the preeminent thing in your life.

Gordon Crook