God has been changing my heart in so many ways this last month. Our church has embarked on a new series around the book Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. This series, above many other greats we have had in the last few years, has really struck a chord with me.
And in my time reading through and digesting, a question remained prominent in my mind:
Taking the promise of eternal life and masking it for one moment, who is Jesus to me? Why is his character worthy of my praise?
I am not trying to dilute the promise of salvation when we believe and follow in Jesus, but rather, I’m trying to get at the real heart of my motives as a believer. Am I praying, going to Sunday services, serving at church- because I want my salvation, or because I love God? I have been humbled by this conviction lately.
Idleman talks about the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John 6. He feeds thousands from five loaves of bread and two fish, and their bellies are full. They stay with Jesus that night and wake the next morning looking for him- hungry for more.
He has become a meal ticket to them.
Jesus and the 12 disciples have already left, and when they follow him across the lake he explains,
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Most of them, unable to except this, turn away.
I don’t want to be one of the 5,000 chasing after Jesus for a fleeting hunger fix. I want to love and praise God for the triune Sovereign that He is, and follow after His Word. It takes more than just belief. More than words or a proclamation, more than a little change on Sundays. Commitment means a willingness to follow, and a willingness to sacrifice your life to the change God has in store for you.
Following Jesus isn’t about the free bread, it is about repentance, surrender, commitment, and death to yourself.
“Then he said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”