Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18, 2014

Psalm 40:1-11, 1 Kings 19:19-21, Luke 5:1-11

I have been thinking a lot lately about priorities and boundaries, and what it means to follow Jesus and balance your family, ministry, and work (and all their possible overlappings)....and whatever else people do. Hobbies? Social life? Keeping up with all the latest pop culture? So of course I am not surprised that these are the Scriptures for today. 
In 1 Kings we see Elisha being handed the baton (or cloak in this case) to be the prophet to replace Elijah. He wants to go back and say goodbye to his parents, and Elijah tells him to go ahead and do that, but also to think about what just happened. I'm thinking this means that Elijah wants Elisha to reflect on how important this call is. How big of a life-changer this will be. How high on the priority list this needs to be.
So Elisha, who was plowing in the fields when Elijah came, went back and slaughtered the oxen and used the wood of the plow to make a fire and cook the meat. The ESV says as a sacrifice. He shared the meat with the townspeople...perhaps his parents were a part of this group? Perhaps it was a farewell party of sorts? Either way, after they ate, Elisha left with Elijah and became his assistant. Elisha burned his plow and slaughtered his oxen before he left...perhaps as a way to say, "I'm leaving my past behind me."
In Luke, we see that Simon, James, and John are at the end of a long night of fishing without success. They are weary, and probably wondering what will happen to them, since fishing seems to be their livelihood. Jesus steps in the boat and tells them to cast their nets, and when they do, the amount of fish they catch is overwhelming. In verses 8-11 it says, "When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus."

So they left everything and followed Jesus. They left everything. Their boats, their nets, their earthly source of security. Same with Elisha.

Now. Certainly not everyone is called to leave their current job and family in order to go and do something for Jesus. Your current job might be just where the Lord wants you. But some people are called to do something completely different, in a completely different place. Far from their family.
Either way, we as followers of Jesus are all called to make Jesus number one over all other priorities in our life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

To what or where or whom has the Lord called you? What does it mean to give up everything?

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so
guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our
wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto
you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always
to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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