August 8

Written by Bill Grandi on August 8th, 2022

At this point in history, we who live in America have it fairly easy when it comes to following Jesus. True, Christianity is no longer the dominant worldview it used to be. But all in all, we are not China or North Korea or Iran/Iraq or India or some other hostile place. So following Jesus is still pretty non-confrontational and “safe.”

That’s what struck me as I read Luke 9 this morning.  On two separate occasions Jesus talks about what it will take to follow Him. These are not back-to-back incidents, but by my recollection days apart.

The first is in Luke 9: 23-27. (I’ll leave it up to you to read it). It is probably as familiar to you as it is to me. Jesus minces no words about what it will take to follow Him: “Deny…Take up…Follow…Give up.” Following Jesus is a full-time, full-on surrender to His rule in my life. Discipleship is not a “when-I-feel-like-it” experience.

The second, which comes at least 8 days later (v.28), is found in verses 57-62. It is what I will call “I will follow You but…” passage. You can read it for yourself. It seems to be a scene of “I will follow when it is convenient for me.”

I don’t think the scenes are unrelated or separate, except in time frame. What I mean by that is they supplement or amplify each other. “Deny…take up…follow…give up” sets the groundwork for Jesus saying, “It takes complete surrender to be Mine.”  The latter Scripture says, “There is no wasting time. Don’t put Him second. He wants me now.”

“Father, may I not hesitate to follow You. May my following involve being sold out to You without hesitation and completely.”


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    I don’t disagree with you that for those of us that live in America, it has been fairly easy to call ourselves Christian without concern of repercussion. I will say this, and please don’t take it the wrong way, but perhaps it has been too easy in many ways. I think in many ways it has allowed the western church to be so casual with Christianity that we can easily ebb and flow in and out of society without much notice. I honestly think that many (self included) have not really had to risk much of anything to call ourselves Christian… I also think that time may be a changing. It is interesting that up until a few years ago that Christian culture and main stream culture could simply agree to disagree, but could still remain civil and even friendly. How times have changed when having a different set of values is now being viewed by some as antagonistic and now by expressing those values can have real and significant consequences. I think your prayer is right on… may I not hesitate to follow you… I would add, especially when it is not favored by society and even when I may face real consequences for doing so.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I have ABSOLUTELY no problem with what you wrote Ryan. I totally agree with it. I, too, feel the time they are ‘a changin’ as Bob Dylan sang. There is a lack of civil discourse amongst people, especially when worldviews clash. I also feel there will come a time when we will be called on to stand up for our faith or face the consequences. Thanks for an expansion of what I did not say.

  2. Glynn says:

    I keep reminding myself: this is not Nigeria. No one’s being murdered or kidnapped for being a Christian. And this isn’t China: no one’s burning down my church building.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Those are just two examples of what we are not going through Glynn. Thanks for bringing them to our attention. A good reminder for us all.

  3. Undoubtedly, we are blessed to be living in a country where following Jesus is not forbidden. But I do fear that we could lose that freedom unless we are vigilant and persistent in our faith. Lord, help us all stand firm in You!
    Blessings, Bill!

  4. gail says:

    Father, help me to follow you without hesitation, doubt or fear. Help me to also come to the conclusion that no matter what is going on, no matter how my feelings may encounter the situation, You have and will always be right. It’s impossible for God to be wrong. There is only one way: God’s way and God’s view on every subject, anything that differs from God’s view is wrong. Please Father keep my heart aligned with you, and keep my feelings from fighting what is the truth.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That is a good and much-needed prayer Gail. May my heart always be aligned with His.