Sunday, March 6, 2016

A prayer to follow

Matthew 4:19 
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
LORD, you have said, "follow me".   YOU who left heaven and came to earth.  God the Son, who has become the Son of God came for me and to me.  YOU who went to suffer hell for me on the cross.  Now you say to me "follow me".  

Come join me in life and death.  

Be married to me.  

Embrace my life as your life.  

My death as your death.  

Come now, follow me. 

Thank you, Lord Messiah, for calling me to follow you.  This is really what you meant when you asked me to believe in you.   Without YOUR call I could not follow, believe, repent, or trust.  YOUR voice now is the empowered voice of command and raises from the dead my spirit that I might respond and not reject.  YOUR call gives me, life. 

I confess, I don't follow well.  I forget the simplicity of it all.  Just follow that is all.  Put my foot in your footprint.   How hard can that be?  Yet, it is hard for me.  I get distracted and doubt.  Like Peter, you have to call me several times.  I need to get my direction fixed.  Lord, forgive my lawless heart and convert it at its the deepest parts. 

If I do follow, in some poor way, then my pride grows and self-righteousness comes in.  I compare myself to others and I find myself condemning other souls and neglecting my own.  To just follow and not become captured by insane legalism.  All is your grace and yet I would make it about my goodness.  Lord forgive me, and save me from self-confidence and self-deception.  

LORD Messiah Jesus, grant a revival of following you in truth, sincerity, and humility, come now upon your people.  Make us true disciples.  Allow us to hear your voice.  Reform our thinking so we can repent of the lies that hold us captive in insanity and sinful lives.  Pull down the strongholds of darkness within us and replace them with fortresses of light and gospel truth.  Without YOU, we can do nothing.  For your glory sake, Come!  For your kingdom's sake, Come!  For our sake, Come!  For our children's sake, Come!

Come quickly in a new great awakening that will do what we know is impossible.  Awaken your people!  Raise the spiritually dead to life.  Convert the skeptics.  Save your covenant children!  Help us now!  Save us from ourselves!  Make of us true followers.  Lord have mercy.  Amen

"Above all, grace is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God."

 On two separate occasions, Peter received the call, ‘Follow me.’ It was the first and last word Jesus spoke to his disciple (Mark 1.17; John 21.22). A whole life lies between these two calls. The first occasion was by the lake of "Gennesareth, when Peter left his nets and his craft and followed Jesus at his word. The second occasion is when the Risen Lord finds him back again at his old trade. Once again it is by the lake of Gennesareth, and once again the call is: ‘Follow me.’ Between the two calls lay a whole life of discipleship in the following of Christ. Half-way between them comes Peter’s confession, when he acknowledged Jesus as the Christ of God. Three times Peter hears the same proclamation that Christ is his Lord and God - at the beginning, at the end, and at Caesarea Philippi. Each time it is the same grace of Christ which calls to him ‘Follow me’ and which reveals itself to him in his confession of the Son of God. Three times on Peter’s way did grace arrest him, the one grace proclaimed in three different ways."

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (2011-08-16). The Cost of Discipleship (SCM Classics) (Kindle Locations 614-628). Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. Kindle Edition. 

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