When Jesus lived and walked on this earth, vast numbers of people came to Him with enormous problems. How did He respond? He healed and delivered them from their afflictions with great compassion.For a while, His 12 disciples were just observers, but all that changed when the Lord called them to serve Him. He gave them authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons and told them to go and preach the Kingdom. He explained what this call meant for them:
We must be continually reminded that the call of Christ on our life never changes—no matter what. But so often we change as we grasp the reality of the narrow road. Let us look at some practical, specific directions Jesus has given us for following Him.
Remember the Reality of Our World
I once read the results of a 10-year study on the fate of people living in certain slums. The reality of these precious children being trafficked, abused and killed is tragic.
Let us examine our hearts. Do we see that these children belong to the Living God? What about the multitudes in our world who have no solution to their problems or sin?
Jesus Christ can bring them hope for this life and the next.
We must commit our lives to see people hear about God’s love for them, until the very end. We cannot compromise, change or go back. We must stay focused.
Enter into the Experience of the Lord
Why didn’t Matthew write, “When we saw what was happening, we broke down in tears and were overcome by incredible pain for the plight of the multitude”? Because the hearts of the disciples were not tender like Jesus’ heart. They only watched Him and, perhaps, wondered what was wrong with Him.
Christ’s goal for His disciples was that they would understand that He came not to live and be King, but to go to the cross and die. They comprehended this later, and Church history says that all except John died as martyrs.
May God help us to enter into the life, experience and agony of our Lord for this world.
Understand That Prayer Is the Only Hope
“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38).
The words in Jeremiah 8:20 still ring true, throughout the world: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!”
When was the last time you prayed with passion and tears for those who live without hope? Without a deeper and more profound commitment to prayer on our part, nothing will change this tragedy.
Self-preservation Is Not the Christianity of the Bible
My dear brothers and sisters, most of the Western Christianity that we are accustomed to is all about preserving our life. We are told that we can have a wonderful life here on earth before going to heaven.
But that is not the Christianity of the New Testament. I challenge you to read it again and again. Don’t try to find commentaries and people who will support you in sparing your life. Embrace the One who suffered and died on the cross for you and for all those who have yet to hear His name—and choose to follow in His footsteps.
Commit Yourself Afresh
It’s a mistake to think that Christ had only 12 disciples. No, He had hundreds. But every time He said, “The cost for you to follow Me is sacrifice, pain and being others-centered,” people began to drop out one by one. In the end, Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked them, “Do you also want to go away?”
“Lord, to whom shall we go?” Peter replied. “You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:67–68).
Where are you in your walk with the Lord? Let us each commit ourselves afresh to the call the Lord gave us, and let us continue our journey to follow Him.
Dr. KP Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia, has written more than 200 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia has been serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979, often in places where no one else is serving. GFA supports national workers who are serving as the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to people’s needs so they can understand the love of God for them for the first time. GFA is engaged in dozens of projects, such as caring for poor children, slum dwellers and widows and orphans; providing clean water by funding wells; supporting medical missions; and meeting the needs of those in leprosy colonies. Through GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program, tens of thousands of children are being rescued from the generational curses of poverty and hopelessness.
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Increase your burden to serve this world by reading Revolution in World Missions by Dr. KP Yohannan Metropolitan.