Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of January 21, 2007

John 21:19-22
This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Some Christians wonder if they have missed God’s call in their life. I find it hard to believe that they could have missed it. We are God’s children and when an earthly mother of father calls their children, they don’t slam the door shut if the child either does not hear or will not respond. They usually keep calling until their child comes. I think God is a lot like that.

Peter was called to follow the Lord several times. He was brought to the Lord by his brother in John 1:42 and at that time his name was changed. His call to follow the Lord began at that time. He was called from his fishing nets to serve the Lord in Matthew 4:18 and likely again in Luke 5:11. He was given a direct commission to follow in Matthew 10 along with the other eleven. Again he was called to follow in Matthew 16:24. He was also called to follow in John 21. He was called to follow early in his relationship with the Lord, during his relationship with the Lord and after he had denied his relationship with the Lord. So I don’t think that we will miss our call if we really want to hear it.

Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t want to hear God call because His call involves taking up a cross and denying self. Today, the Gospel is preached as though one should be healthy, wealthy and wise after deciding to follow the Lord. If prosperity and success doesn’t follow after we begin to follow the Lord, we are often made to feel that we are doing something wrong. Unfortunately, many of the early disciples were martyred because they actually believed in taking up a cross and denying themselves to be faithful to the Lord. The Lord Himself, died on a cross. So following the Lord successfully may include dying on a cross, and it will certainly involve dying to self.

Sometimes we don’t hear the call of God because we are concerned about how our call compares to the call of others. We like Peter ask, “What shall this (other) man do?” The Lord wants us to follow Him with the blinders on so we don’t get distracted by what others are or are not called to do. This call is personal, “Follow THOU me!”

We may have trouble following the Lord because we have failed him, and we may not feel worthy to be one of His followers. Peter had that problem. He had denied that he knew the Lord and in John 21, he was facing the One he had failed. But the Lord asked him about the depth of his love, got him to confess that he wasn’t able of himself to love as he ought; and then the Lord recommissioned Peter. The Lord does not reject us when we have sinned; but, of course, He will quietly and lovingly deal with the issue. We may be with others when the Lord deals with it, but it will seem like we are alone with Him. And if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9). Part of that forgiveness is to call us once again to follow Him.

Following the Lord is an adventure with God; Adventures can be challenging but adventures should be exciting and fulfilling. Our adventure starts when we respond to the call, “Follow thou me!”

Bruce Collins

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