Thought for Thursday

And a certain scribe came and said unto Him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. Matthew 8:19

It was a beautiful morning as we loaded the tools into the back of the pickup truck and prepared to leave. Seeing that we were headed out for a job, one of the young boys came up to us and pleaded to go with us, telling us he would do anything we wanted him to do. Sitting him down on the tailgate, we told the lad that we were going to dig down to lay a foundation for a barn, and it was not going to be fun. We told him of the hard earth that would need to be shoveled and removed by wheelbarrow, of the hard, backbreaking work and the hot sun that would be our working environment. He considered our words carefully, and then announced that maybe he wouldn’t come with us this time. What looked at first like a fun outing took on the form of a lot of hard work. It’s the same prospect that often turns people away from following Christ.

The scribe in our text was initially fascinated by the prospect of following Jesus. He saw adventure and enjoyment in the prospect, until he heard the Lord Jesus tell him that the road would not be one of comfort and ease. His old duties back home looked a little more appealing than the difficult path that the Lord Jesus was presenting to him. Because he could not see beyond the rocky road to the glorious destination, he was no longer interested. Many of us would have given up long ago if all we were looking at was the Christian journey with no grasp of where it would eventually take us.

And yet, the Christian journey is far more rewarding in itself than a life lived for this world and for self. Despite the sacrifices that obedience often brings, following the Lord Jesus is fulfilling and far more worthwhile than following the world’s false pursuits. There is the joy of having the Lord’s presence and the Spirit’s guidance and direction. There is the comfort of the Word of God and its never-ending supply for our spiritual needs. There is the companionship of the Lord’s people, the certainty of the many promises of God, the care of the shepherds of the Lord’s flock. So many delights along the Christian pathway far exceed anything that the world can offer. And when we have appreciated the preciousness of the Lord’s presence, we have not yet plumbed the depths of the great rewards that lie in wait for us when this pathway has come to its conclusion.

Following Him has little attraction for the blind sinner, but great anticipation for the faithful saint. -Jim MacIntosh

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