Monday, 4 March 2013

Is Following Jesus Worth It?

I saw this justice video by Micah Bournes a few weeks ago.  Like most videos by this word artist, I really liked it.  Near the end, I thought you could almost replace the word "justice" with "following Jesus" in this video.  There are many striking similarities between pursuing justice and following Jesus, and how it is perceived by the world around us. (Please watch the short video before reading further.)

Following Jesus does seem to be a very futile pursuit for many people.  It doesn't promise success and prosperity, although some try to make it sound that way.  You probably won't see a grand increase in the world's goods if you follow Jesus' command to deny yourself daily, take up your cross and follow Him.  It likely won't be very profitable if you try to measure it in those terms.

The thing about following Jesus is, we'll never reach a point in this life where we'll be able to say "I've made it.  I'm done working for God, and now I can sit back and relax until Jesus comes."  No.  We work until He comes or your physical bodies die.  Only then have we finished the race.  We can give up along the way if we want to.  But if we understand the price Jesus paid, and the reward that follows, we won't. 

Most people in this world don't perceive following Jesus as worth it.  Many Christians at some point wonder if it's worth it.  I know I have.  (I also think our churches are full of people who are tired of the idea of following Jesus, because they're not actually doing it the way they should.)  But as in pursuing justice, I don't think the question "Is it even worth it?", comes very often from those who have laboured for years for Jesus Christ, who have given their lives to the ministry, to preaching the Gospel.  I don't think it comes often from those who have spent years in the mission field, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, caring for orphans and widows, freeing the captives and being the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these. 

Oh, I'm sure they get tired.  I'm sure there are days some have no strength of their own and only God's strength sustains them.  But as tired as I'm sure they often get, I don't think they often wonder if it's worth it.  They know it is worth it.  They know because they have communed with Jesus.  They have spent time in His presence and they have grown to have a heart for the things He has a heart for, for the people He has a heart for.  They have developed a Christ-like love that empties and pours out self for the good of someone else.  They have given their lives for the broken-hearted, for the wounded.  They have toiled to see souls come into the kingdom and set free from the power of sin.  Like Jesus, they have come to see that their lives are worth the sacrifice.  And for those who follow Jesus like that, I think it would be offensive for them to be asked if it was worth it.

Where's your relationship with Jesus?  Are you busy following Him, or have you grown tired of the idea?  For myself, I admit I have at times probably grown tired of the idea.  But I don't want it to stay that way.  I want to come to the place where I commune and identify with Christ, where I have a heart for the people and things He has a heart for, so much so that it becomes offensive to me to be asked or to wonder if following Him is worth it.  I want to be able to cry out myself "What do you mean, is it worth it? Of course it's worth it!"  How do I know?  Because I was worth dying for to Him.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. There is no question for me that following Jesus is worth it. But it is all too easy for any of us to slip into a mindset where we focus on the world's view of success as a life goal, rather than intimacy with Jesus. We can start to say to ourselves 'I DESERVE x/y/z because I've been a good Christian' and compare our lives to those around us. It's such a shame when that happens, because when we do that, we've missed Jesus altogether.

    It's like that verse says, 'delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart'. It doesn't say 'delight yourself in your desires and you will get the Lord'.

    Jesus is the only one worth following.