In his book, Live Not By Lies, author Rod Dreher challenges us to “judge how the ways of the world (system), and its demands, conflict with what Christ requires of his disciples. Are we admirers, or followers?”
I have a number of friends who are admirers of Christ. They admire his teaching, his example, but what about his call to follow? What does that mean? Am I a follower?
With that in mind, consider these verses from John 12: 26 – “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
The only way to serve Christ is to follow Him. Jesus doesn’t call us to part-time service. Our duty is to die to ourselves and be obedient followers day by day.
When we serve Christ we have fellowship with Him. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus wants us to have “life and have it abundantly.”
The result of our service to Christ is to be honored by the Father. Matthew 10: 32- 33 reminds us that “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
How ever we serve. Whoever we serve. We are called to follow, not just admire Christ.
Finally, consider these words from Dietrich Bonhoeffer –
“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it, a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. ”
In contrast, “cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.