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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Where He Leads Me, Will I Follow?

Are we truly followers of Jesus? Or are we simply followers of
Jesus’ favors? In other words, do we give ourselves to Him wholeheartedly and do what He wants, or do we give Him only lip service, hoping He will give us what we want? In our consumer-driven culture of worship, we ought to ask ourselves these tough questions.

Each of the four Gospel writers narrated the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. The story demonstrates Jesus’ compassion and highlights His deity. Only God could do so much with so little. But the multitude turned away when Jesus predicted His sufferings. Suffering has never been a popular subject, and it never will be.

Like the crowds that followed Jesus for the free handout, are crowds attending church today for what they hope to get from Jesus? What might the crowds do if they learned they might have to suffer for Christ?

In the October 1992 issue of Covenant Companion, John Fischer wrote a brief but provocative reflection that addressed consumerism in the church. His thoughts are still relevant.

“As the church today gets more and more hip—more and more need-oriented, responding to the buttons that people push in their pews— I find myself longing for more of a historical faith. I find all my needs met as much as I want to meet God, and sometimes I wonder if he’s really interested in the noise of our contemporary clamoring. Like my dog who can’t seem to get anywhere because he keeps having to stop and scratch his fleas, I wonder if we are so busy scratching where everybody itches that we aren’t taking anybody anywhere significant”

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