The message was brought by Rev. Jack Sprinkle.
Mark 5: 18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Matthew 16: 16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
One man was told to go home; one was told to follow Jesus. One did what was asked of him; the other did not. These are stories about willingness. Jesus is asking for our willingness to do what he wants us to do. In another story Jesus had calmed the storm and the people asked what manner of man he was. Let’s look at that.
He is fearless. We are afraid of our opponent. Jesus is not. He will fight for us and give us victory. That victory is not our own; it is his gift to us. He is precious, and nothing is more precious than he is. Even the innocent baby is not as precious as Jesus. That preciousness deserves our willingness to go wherever he leads us. What he asks of us may not always be pleasant but it will always be for our good. He is helpful. Matter of fact, what would we do without him? He’s given us a church to worship in, a Savior to follow, and a heaven to gain. He is knowledgeable. He knows what is in our hearts, what is in our minds, and all our frailties. Where we lack, he is enough. When we’re weak, he is strong. The Bible has 6,000 promises. Many are personal to us. He will fulfill them all regardless how great or small they are. We serve the right God. Many serve a god that can’t hear, talk, or answer prayer. We can count on our God because he is faithful. Now he walks with me day by day. One day I’ll walk with him in glory. He is love. There is not a soul in hell he doesn’t love. Unless Adolf Hitler repented, he is in hell today, but he went with God loving him. God wants our attention. He has authority to fulfill his promises.
Many won’t follow Jesus because of too much pride. Many are ashamed to follow him. Jesus serves us willingly. All he asks is for us to be willing to follow him. What is this man to you today? He won’t play second fiddle. He’s #1 or he’s nothing at all. If we love anything more than him, we are not his.
To one man he said go home. Jesus had healed him of demon possession, and he wanted to follow him. He was told to go home and witness about Jesus. He was willing to do what Jesus asked. He went home and told others what Jesus had done for him. In the average church today there is willingness to be religious but not Christ-like. The rich young ruler had the right approach. He ran to Jesus and knelt before him. He lacked one thing. Jesus knew his heart. That one thing he lacked that was in his way of getting to heaven could have just as well been his television. It could have been the golf course. It just so happened what was in this man’s way was his money. When told to sell all he had, give it to the poor and then follow Jesus, he went away sorrowful unwilling to do what Jesus asked.
Are we willing to follow Jesus? The time will come when we’ll wish we had. Do you have what it takes to yield to his will? Are you willing to come to church like you should or is it easier to stay away and do something else? When we become willing, the task is made easier. In the garden Jesus prayed to the Father and said not my will but thine. Are you willing to say that and do what Jesus asks of you to do?