A Skill to Practice

Okay, I know that juggling multi-colored balls has nothing to do with following Jesus…

…or does it?

The Bible is full of injunctions of various types, and when we read the apostle Paul’s letters we’re bound to see him adamantly exhorting us to live moral lives.  But we have to remember a couple of crucial things.

First, Paul always couches even his most adamant exhortations within the context of God’s grace.  Even this great challenge — to offer our whole selves as sacrifices to God — is to be done “because of all [God] has done for you.”  If we truly understand the gracious agency of God, we will also understand why we can trust God with our whole selves.

Second, following Jesus is not something we either “do” or “don’t do” in some binary way.  We learn to follow Jesus.  It starts with this most fundamental practice of offering ourselves to God.  That is a skill that we develop over time.  It doesn’t really come naturally.  It takes practice, repetition, and time.   But it is possible.  And, according to John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, and the witness of the whole New Testament…it’s both necessary and eternally rewarding.

For reflection:

  1. Is there something about yourself that you know needs to “pass away” in order for the life of Christ to be more fully realized in you?
  2. What are some of the obstacles that make “offering yourself” difficult?
  3. How might you overcome those obstacles?
  4. You’re not in this alone — who in your life can come alongside you in this process, both to encourage you and hold you accountable?

Many blessings,

Mike

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