As I re-read the life of Christ this past week several things caught my attention. One of the interesting facts I underscored had to do with the way Jesus interacted with people. Even during His last week of life, before the crucifixion and resurrection, He never demanded anything from His followers nor did He seek to control their lives in a dictatorial way. In one of His darkest moments while in Gethsemane, He didn’t demand that His disciples stand alongside Him but merely asked them to join Him in prayer. No pressure, no pushiness and no strong-armed tactics. He simply gave an invitation.
In the early days of Jesus’ ministry He approached people and invited them to become His partners. He said in Matthew 4:19: “ … Follow Me, and I will make you into a fisher of men.” His promise to them had to do with transformation. If you follow me, I will make you, shape you and show you how to become a person who develops meaningful and lasting relationships.
Jesus is a different type of leader. He doesn’t merely talk about doing something but actually shows a follower how to walk and how to live a fruitful life. While many today wax eloquent in mere rhetoric and pontificate specific dogma that sways people, Jesus practiced a ‘Show and Tell’ mentality.
On that Friday when He was crucified He showed His love for us and on Sunday when He arose from the grave – He showed His power. Today Jesus tells us that there is power available to all who believe in Him.
Rom. 8:11 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. NIV
I am a follower of Christ because I accepted His invitation over 55 years ago. The road isn’t always easy for those who accept the invitation to follow Him because sometimes Christ leads those who choose to follow through darkness and difficulty. At other times He leads them into the unknown where uncertainty flourishes.
Regardless of the path, however, Barren or Fruitful – Dark or Bright – Mountain or Valley, God is using all things to shape, make, mold and prepare us for the destiny He has designed for us.
The invitation doesn’t promise a road paved with roses. Nor does it assure a life of ease but it does promise resurrection life and no one is exempt. All are invited.
Matthew 11:29-30, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep Company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." MSG
The pastors in Kings County would love for you to visit one of the many Church families that will be meeting this weekend to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. If you don’t have a Church family, why not make a plan to visit a place of worship and celebrate Jesus. You will be glad you did! You are invited!