Two brothers, Peter and Andrew, grew up by the sea. They were fishermen by trade — it’s all they ever knew. Fishing was in their blood. It represented a livelihood, a profession, comfort, and familiarity. One day as they cast their nets into the sea, they saw a man coming toward them on the beach. The man, Jesus, called to them saying, “Follow me.”
The Bible says at once these two brothers dropped their fishing nets and followed Jesus. They left behind the life they knew. They left behind their jobs and their families. They abandoned their old lifestyle and immediately followed Jesus.
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” Mark 8:34
Jesus called you to follow him. Does that mean you have to abandon your job, family, and everything familiar to you? Not necessarily. What it really means is making a 180 degree turn from the things you were following before Jesus came into your life. Following Jesus means a radical abandonment of the pursuit of things like money, possessions, addictions, and sin. Following Jesus means you’re pursuing Him by reading the Bible, obeying it, praying, and growing as a new believer.
So while you might not need to leave behind your paycheck and parents, you are invited to joyfully pursue the life Jesus has called you to when He said to you, “Follow me.”
The verse above says to “deny” ourselves and follow Jesus. What parts of your old life will you deny as you grow in your relationship with Christ?
The verse above also says believers should “take up their cross” and follow Christ. Jesus didn’t mean we should literally carry a cross around with us, but he does indicate that being a Christian isn’t necessarily easy. What do you find difficult about becoming a follower of Christ?
Questions to consider:
Read Luke 11:1-4. Can you pick out the different prayer forms in these verses?