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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Challenge of Discipleship

by David Silvester

18 September 2012

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Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:38, NIV

When Jesus called people to follow him He didn’t promise a comfortable and easy pathway, but said,‘anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me’ (Matthew 10:38). And when I look at the lives of those early followers, the trials and testings they experienced, I wonder how I might have fared under the same circumstances at that time.

While I was thinking along these lines I was reminded of childhood years when, as a family, we were watching some circus clowns on bicycles. Instead of riding smoothly along they were bouncing up and down, and the faster they went the more uncomfortable they looked, hardly able to sit on the saddle.

It was some time later that I learned it wasn’t the clowns acting in a silly manner, but that the wheels of the bicycles were causing their bouncing. The wheel hubs were not in the centre of the wheels. For example, if the hub was off centre by only an inch it would lift the bicycle two inches from ‘low’ to ‘high’, and anything more than an inch off centre would be doubled, increasing that difference accordingly.

At times, we too might find the Christian life is a series of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’, but there’s a comforting thought in the words of Jesus earlier in the same chapter when He promised the help of ‘the Spirit of your Father’ when they were facing really testing situations. ‘But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you’ (Matthew 10:19-20).

The writer of Hebrews encourages us. ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart’ (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for calling me to follow You. Thank You too for the Holy Spirit who encourages me and helps me to get through the difficult times of testing I experience from time to time. Please forgive me for those times where I have failed You, I ask, in Your Name Lord Jesus, Amen.

David Silvester is married and has a son, two daughters and eight grandchildren. He trained as a production engineer. He then moved on to become a lecturer of engineering craft skills before being called of God in his early fifties to become a pastor of a Baptist church. He says that,"having previously experienced an amazing healing on a day others expected me to die, it came as no surprise that God directed me and my wife, Margaret, to become involved with Ellel Ministries."

 

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