At Christ’s Church, we have entered a season of learning what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We explored the call Jesus gave his first disciples in the gospel of Matthew: “Follow me, and I will make you into fishers of men.” In these words, we realize that Jesus calls us into union with him, so that we can reach out to others in his name.
The call Jesus gave looks something like this:
This union meets our two deepest needs: To be loved as we are and to have purpose in our lives. God wants to fulfill the most intense longings of our heart: The longing for intimacy and the longing for our lives to matter.
Sometimes, though, if we don’t guard ourselves, all this stuff we’re talking about seems more like a laundry list of chores and no-nos than an invitation into a life where our deepest needs are met.
I’m supposed to read my bible every day.
I’m supposed to share my faith.
I’m not supposed to drink too much alcohol.
I’m not supposed to have extra-marital or pre-marital sex.
I’m supposed to pray more.
I’m not supposed to dwell on my anger.
Before we know it, the life of a disciple looks more like a burden than a joy.
In my prayers this morning, though, I came across a prayer I had prayed many times. It begins like this: O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom.
Those words, “To serve you is perfect freedom” jumped out to me like never before because, as God spoke so clearly to me this morning:
If we’re getting this life of discipleship right… it is a joy. It leads to perfect freedom. It looks a lot like this:
Growing in our faith and becoming disciples of Jesus is not meant to be a burden. Yes. There are things we are called to do. Yes. There are things we must not do. But this is the life that will fulfill us more than any other life, because it is the life we were created to live.
You were made for this! You were made to be united to God and to make an impact on others. Far from being a burden, this life is the only life that will fulfill you. It’s the only life you were made for.