Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Demanding Christ

Jesus disturbs us most by the sweep of his damands on those who would follow Him.
His insistence that sacrifice is the normal style for the Christian life disturbs us in the depths of our being.
How demanding is his statement:
"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matt. 16:24, RSV)
Follow Me by Steve McGinty
Follow Me


It is impossible to be a Christian and live undisturbed and undisturbingly.
Jesus was always speaking about the cost of discipleship.

  • "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" (Matt. 20:22, RSV)

    "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head" (Matt. 8:20. RSV)

    "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go..."(Luke 9:60, RSV)

    "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62, RSV)


These demands are so plain that they frighten us.

Jesus teaches us that the good life must be through

Gethsemane

Christ in Gethsemane by E. Goodman
Christ in Gethsemane


and on to Golgotha.

Crucifixion, 1873  by Eduard Karl Franz von Gebhardt
Crucifixion, 1873


There are no shortcuts.

The great life is the life of sacrificial service.

A very vivid memory of my childhood centers around attendance at a small church where we sang with great sincerity : "The way of the cross leads home."

Jesus says that the way to life is straight and narrow.
  • This disturbs our generation because it has not yet ridded itself of the idea that the way to life is to do as we please.
  • The spirit of our time says: "Express yourself!" but Jesus says, "Deny yourself!"
    The spirit of our age says: "Let yourself go; be relaxed." But Jesus says: "Discipline yourself; take up your cross."

    Our Lord is both Comforter and Disturber; he is both Helper and Judge.

  • Sometimes, in our weaker moments, we wish we could be rid of the Christ who disturbs.
  • And yet, in our better moments, we know that we dare not dismiss him for our own well being.

  • Oh disturbed one, surrounded by a disturbed world, accept Christ, the Disturber, that you may find salvation and peace!

Word Made Flesh
Word Made Flesh
pictures courtesy of all posters
Devotions for the home
J. Herbert Gilmore, Jr.


Mimi

12 comments:

Mike Golch said...

Mimi, Thank you for this Great Message. Hugs and God's Love and Blessings! Mike G. said that! (It's an A.A.Thing)

Karen said...

Hi Mimi,
I'm catching up on your posts, and read about your husband. I hope and pray he is doing so much better now.
Sometimes when we are going through tough times, and seeing our friends go through them, it's easy to get discouraged. Something that always helps me is to remember that no matter what, GOD is and always will be in control of what happens, and we may never have a reason that we can understand. But it is still comforting to me to know that He will walk through it with me.
Thank you for sharing this today.
Oh, and a little side note....I'm now "Mimi" too. Little man can say that better, so from one Mimi to another, have a wonderful week-end! :o)

Mary said...

Mimi,

This is a beautiful message and the graphics are lovely. Thanks once again for telling us of God's love.

Blessings,
Mary

Joyce's Ramblings said...

Hi Mimi,
Not sure wether its enjoying or enduring to answer your question.

Susan said...

Hey Mimi,

This was a wonderful message, and such perfect pictures to go along with it.

Just stopping to let you know I was thinking of you.

Have a blessed day♥

Ruthie said...

Such a great debotional. The music fits so well too. Thanks for the post.

Ruthie said...

woops - I mistyped. I meant devotional. :)

Tracy said...

Great message Mimi, thank you for sharing. I always enjoy coming here and reading what you have written.

:)

Saija said...

amen ...
if we weren't "disturbed" in some way, we would not be true followers ... or His children ... we need to be worked on!

Lille meg said...

Yes, you are so right!
Being a christian is not a hobby, it is a serious matter.
Thank you for reminding us this!
I have just read a book about the chrisians in China. There it costs, sometimes life.

I hope your husband is doing better.

Dawn said...

Such convicting thoughts!

Thanks for the kind words on my stitchery. I wish I could still do it!

Me said...

There is a secret to the plainness of His demands that I think often eludes us - they are simple. There is no complex formula in them...