Have you said that you want to follow Jesus? You have made quite a statement. Have you said that you will go where He leads? You have committed yourself to a difficult road. When you commit yourself in marriage to a person you give yourself to a sinner. When you commit yourself to Christ as lord you give yourself to someone who is perfect and following Him is not so easy for you, a sinner.
What does it really mean to follow the Messiah? You must die and then continue to struggle on in life. Your death provides no escape except from your sin that was killing you. Having accepted liberation from the sin and death you consign yourself to live standing in grace. You renounce all efforts to earn His grace, all belief that you are worthy of His love and you must live with the discomfort of being faced with your moral paralysis in the presence of His holiness. You agree to have your very nature of pride and attempts at righteousness starved and suffocated. It will not be comfortable.
Do you understand that you are committing suicide? Realize that if you agree to this you are giving up on what you want to do and living a life bound to servitude to those who have hurt you and whom you have hurt.
Know that if you agree to follow Christ your problems will not go away or diminish. You are guaranteed trouble.
People will abandon you and mock you to your face and behind your back. You will be lonely. It will cost time, money, effort, relationships, sleep, and glory.
Understand that you will still sin and this will be confusing and very discouraging. You will feel increasingly guilty for the wrongs you do.
You will walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ Himself, experiencing the life He lived and who He was, tapping into His mind and heart. You will begin to see the world as He saw it and it will disgust and grieve you. You will begin to truly love people. You will hear and see things very differently, in ways that would have made no sense before. At times the smallest things in life will give you a pleasure like never before. Music will be more beautiful and food will taste better. But you will find that what seemed once to be the largest things in life have lost their promise. You are giving up the pursuit of the things you love and all that they may have provided you. Prestige, power, money, acceptance, and that bittersweet feeling of self-pity you indulge in often.
You agree to trust, obey, and follow the Lord no matter what that might mean. No matter what that might mean. No matter where it takes you and no matter who it compels you to love.
You are agreeing to take this offer to others who have not heard it. You are agreeing to teach it to your children, not omitting any part, and to obeying it for them to see. You are agreeing to admit it when you fail in this. Their lives are in your hands. You will answer to the Heavenly Father for the way you raised the children He gave you. You will answer to him for your words and actions in your life.
You are agreeing to follow a poor carpenter’s son who lived the life of a vagabond and whom the holiest men on earth despised for His rebelliousness. You are about to follow someone whose closest friends abandoned him to his death.
You are about to start following the only person who truly loved truly. You are agreeing to follow the one who could not be beaten by death. He made promises to you. Those promises stand. By calling him Lord you are accepting all the promises: forgiveness, rescue from hell, suffering, companionship, belonging, love, and eternity with Him.
Will you accept without reserve the one who accepted you without reserve?
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well? Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”