The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/15

Posted on | October 15, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/15

Scripture reading: Romans 12:1–2

Wanted!

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

As he prepared for a new expedition to Antarctica in 1912, Sir Ernest Shackleton put an ad in a London newspaper searching for recruits.  The goal of the mission was to put a team ashore on one side of the continent that would traverse Antarctica on foot with the help of dog sleds, stopping at the South Pole on the way. The remainder of the crew would sail the ship Endurance around the continent and meet the trekkers on the other side. No one had ever done such a thing before. In a day when there were no radios, tele- phones, airplanes or GPS devices, this was an extremely dangerous undertaking. The exact wording of that famous newspaper advertisement has been lost, but it went something like this:

Wanted: 27 men to accompany Sir Ernest Shackleton on a hazardous journey to Antarctica. Wages: minimal. Conditions of work: deplorable. Chance of survival: slim. Honor and recognition in event of success.

He received over five thousand applications!

Shackleton understood what many of us forget. The deepest yearning in the human heart is not for security, prosperity and comfort. What we really seek more than anything else is significance, meaning, and purpose. Better to die young living a life that matters than to die old living one that doesn’t.

Jesus Christ knew well this yearning for significance. Man does not live by bread alone. Life is more than eating, working, and sleeping. We are made in the image of God, hard-wired for significance. So when Jesus sought recruits for his mission, he made sure that every would-be follower was well informed about the risks and dangers involved. If Jesus had put an ad in a newspaper for recruits, it might have read something like this:

Wanted: men and women to accompany the second Person of the Blessed Trinity on a mission that will culminate in the transformation of Planet Earth into the Kingdom of God. Wages: minimal. Conditions of work: terrible. Chance of survival: none. Benefits: out of this world!

Any volunteers? Lay aside your petty ambitions and dreams of comfort and get involved in the greatest adventure anyone can ever experience! Yes, Jesus encourages us to consider the cost of discipleship before rushing in to such a decision. But as you ponder the matter, be sure to consider the cost of non-discipleship as well! No one stated the matter more clearly than Jesus:

Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Mark 10:29–31)

You have only one life. Don’t waste it.

Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ. —Francis Xavier

point to ponder • Have you considered the cost of non-discipleship?

prayer focus • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any commitment you have to self-protection and self-promotion. Surrender self to him.

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