Skip to content

Views From the Back Pew

Views From the Back Pew

What are you ready to give up? If you look around your house at all the things there, could you find something that you would be willing to do without? If you are like me, I would pick the easy things first. Of course, I could do without all of my wife’s knick knacks. All of her baskets, the pillows, and other decorations. My stuff would be a little difficult to choose. I’ve got more than my fair share of old caps and worn out jackets that could easily go first, and many days I could do without my phone. It gets a little tougher when it comes to my fishing gear, and if you asked me to choose between my TV or one of our kids, some days that might be a tougher choice than it should be. But, if I were being completely honest, I could probably do without all of my things if forced to. Would I do it willingly? Could I walk away from all of it? When we leave this world, we leave behind everything we own. We don’t haul it along with us. It’s not towed along behind us on our way to the cemetery. If we have the best job in the world, would we get up and leave it behind if someone asked us to? 

In Mark 1:17 when Jesus calls Simon Peter to come be one of His disciples He says,  17“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” This is a verse that we are all probably familiar with. At that moment, Simon Peter might not understand it, but Jesus was telling him and his brother Andrew that they would be gathering people to become followers of Christ. We may know the verse, and we may have a good understanding of what Jesus was getting at, but we might miss what comes next. Verse 18 says, “18At once they left their nets and followed him.” At that very moment, Peter and Andrew gave up everything to follow Jesus. They left behind their livelihoods. They left behind the safety of their everyday lives and went with the man they wanted to believe would lead them to a better life. Even though they probably had their apprehensions, they still went along, not knowing what to expect or all the things they would experience along the way. On the day of Pentecost Peter stands up before the crowd and professes in Acts 2:32, “ 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.” These men left their lives behind to follow the man that they hoped to be their Messiah. They were giving it all up and, in turn, gained far more than they could have ever imagined.

Jesus says in Luke 9:24, “24For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” It’s about giving up what we may think is important and focusing it all on Jesus. The things that we think are important in our lives may truly not be the most important when it comes to our salvation. Our salvation is what really matters, nothing else. The great thing is that once we give up all those outside distractions, when we put aside those things that take away our focus for Jesus, we begin to truly live. When I look around my life for things to give up, it’s hard for me to think of anything that I would be willing to part with. But, if I like Peter and the rest of the apostles, I can walk away from the distractions of life so that I might totally devote myself to Him, then I will be saved. So, our challenge this week is to take a really hard look at our lives. Evaluate if you are at a place in your life where you are ready to walk away from those things that may be keeping you from following Jesus. If you aren’t there, then you need to ask yourself why? What’s keeping you? This week my prayer for you is that you are at that point ready to leave it all behind and follow the One that loves you. I pray that everyone has a wonderful week, and let’s say a prayer for our Lady Panthers who are going to be going for the gold ball in the state tournament this week. We wish them well. Go with God, and may the Lord bless you and keep you. 

Bryan Tucker, Minister

Okemah Church of Christ

Leave a Comment