WILLS POINT, TX – K P Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA World), whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, to serve the deprived and downcast worldwide — shares about the decision we need to make between the easy road of comfort and the hard Calvary road of following after Jesus.
We live in a culture in which, unless we consciously and deliberately seek to swim against the current, we will hardly make it as followers of Christ . . . at least, not the Christ of the New Testament, who said, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27).
The Church at large has adapted to the trends of the culture. Frequently the Christian message is presented in a way that caters to people’s perceived needs and their desire for an easier, better life. Man and his comfort have become the main focus, and God is obligated to meet these expectations.
This has created a generation of believers who know little or nothing of sacrifice, suffering and self-denial for the sake of Jesus. We have become conditioned to always seek for a soft cushion, at the least a thin one, if we are asked to sit on a hard bench. Even in ministry, we avoid difficult tasks or things that are foreign to us, and we question anything that demands physical and emotional discomfort or spiritual battles or that might tax us in any way.
This is in sharp contrast to Jesus, who rebuked Peter for counseling Him not to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die, and later for trying to rescue Him with his sword in Gethsemane. Commanding Peter to put his sword away, Jesus said, “Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” (John 18:11). Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, and He came to suffer and die for our sins. Knowing His purpose and submitting to the Father’s will, He chose the hard road, the one that led to Calvary.
Examples for Us to Follow
Christ set an example for those who followed Him then and for all who want to follow Him now. He said, “Where I am, there My servant will be also” (John 12:26). You see, God is also asking us to do hard things. For example, Jesus made this statement, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).
God is telling us there is a choice left before us. We have to make a decision between the hard road on which God asks us to go or the easy road everyone else travels.
For Noah, preaching 120 years without results meant choosing the hard road year after year. Nehemiah, building the wall of Jerusalem, faced constant harassment by enemies from within and without. The easy road would have been to quit, to go back to Persia and live at the king’s palace in peace. But he chose the hard road because he was not seeking his own, but the things of God.
We cannot honestly, authentically, reasonably and deliberately serve our Lord without our willingness to accept difficulties and inconveniences—the hard road. We must follow in the footsteps of a Savior who didn’t hesitate to lay down His life for a dying world.
Amy Carmichael, an Irish pioneer missionary to India, wrote a poem that is actually a prayer. In it, she asks for nothing less than deliverance from her self-seeking nature so that she may serve Jesus freely and totally.
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softened things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
If there is anything that is holding you back from giving your all to Jesus, following Him and choosing the hard road, you need to start calling out to the Lord for His help just as Amy Carmichael did. Freely give it to Him.
There are many who are in great need around the world. Consider doing something this Christmas beyond your own circle and sacrifice for someone in need. Look into GFA World’s Christmas Gift Catalog.
KP Yohannan, founder and director GFA World (Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, has written more than 250 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 is a Christian-based charity serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979,often in places where no one else is serving. Gospel for Asia workers serve on the field 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. Gospel for Asia helps provide funds for 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.
Find out more about Gospel for Asia in the video “A Year in Review with K.P. Yohannan.”
Keep encouraged and get your regular dose of challenge through other articles on Patheos by KP Yohannan Metropolitan, or on his blog at kpyohannan.org.
You can learn more about K.P. Yohannan Metropolitan by clicking here.
Learn more about KP Yohannan, Founder of GFA World, and Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church: Facebook | Radio | Twitter | Amazon | Sermon Index | Goodreads | OnePlace | About | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | Book | Wikipedia | Francis Chan | Lawsuit Response |