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Today’s Gospel And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him. – Matthew 4:22 Reflection Mentioned in the verse, “left”, we know that at that time Peter was fishing but got nothing. When the Lord Jesus asked them to fish again, they saw miraculous signs and got a good catch. At the same time the Lord Jesus called them to follow Him to be his disciples. Then they dropped the fishing boat, left their nets and leave their father and followed the Lord Jesus. It reminds me a sentence in the Bible, “whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). The Lord Jesus asks us to love Him more than the worldly pursuits, so what should we do to become people who love God? Should we treat God’s commission as the most important? God’s words say, “Are you aware of the burden you shoulder, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your historic sense of mission? How will you serve as a good master for the next age? Do you have a great sense of masterhood? How would you explain the master of all things? Is it really the master of all living creatures and all substance in the world? What plans do you have for the progress of the next step of work? How many people are waiting for you to be their shepherd? Is your task a heavy one? They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness, ‘Where is the way?’… Have you ever thought how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see the innocent mankind He created with His own hands suffering such torment? After all, mankind are the unfortunates that have been poisoned. Though they have survived to this day, who would have thought that they have long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Out of your love for God, are you not willing to strive to save those who have survived? Are you not willing to use all your effort to repay the God who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood? How do you interpret being used by God to live your extraordinary life? Do you really have the resolution and confidence to live out a meaningful life of a pious, God-serving person?” From this we can see God’s eager desire to save mankind. God’s work needs people’s cooperation. When God’s calling comes upon us, we’ll be faced with choices. If we choose to put our own interests first, then who will spread God’s gospel? This is worth our consideration. » You may be interested in reading more: • Are You Truly Follow Jesus Christ? • During a Spiritual Battle, I Relied on God to Overcome My Family’s Interference • A Young Christian’s Experience of Spreading the Gospel of the Lord’s Return to His Father • Blessed Are Those Who Truly Believe in and Follow God—Reflection on John 20:29
By Yang Min I believe that like me, all the brothers and sisters in the Lord have received lots of peace and blessings from the Lord, and that we all have ever been resolved to follow the Lord all our life. I remember, at that time I was fervent within. In order to repay the Lord’s great love, I actively spread the gospel for Him and supported the church, and I had confidence about holding on to His way. Moreover, I constantly contemplated His grace, and I was frequently moved to tears when I prayed, feeling so close to the Lord. I prided myself on being a follower of the Lord. But unknowingly, that feeling was gone. I grew cold in love as well as in faith; and I had no enjoyment in praying, for I received no response from the Lord, feeling like being talking to thin air. I no longer prided myself on being a follower of the Lord; instead, I frequently distressed myself about failing to keep the Lord’s teaching. I committed sins and confessed sins every day, totally shackled without release by sins. In result, I lost my motivation for preaching the gospel, and I even dreaded to have it known that I’m a Christian, for fear that my behaviors couldn’t glorify the Lord, but rather shamed His name. I sometimes felt my belief in the Lord consisted only in paying empty tribute to the name of the Lord Jesus. At times, I would ask myself: Can I, who vainly grasp to the name of the Lord Jesus, count as a follower of the Lord? Can it be that the Lord has forsaken me? If not, why can’t I feel His presence? And why do I feel that I have lost the lamp to my feet and the light to my path, and sunk into the darkness? I often studied the Bible, hoping to get the answer in the Scriptures. Later, from the accounts of the Bible, I found that not all the believers in God could be considered as God’s followers. The standard by which God judges whether a person is His follower differs across periods of time. Here, I’d like to share my gain with brothers and sisters, and discuss with you about what kind of people are approved by God and what kind of people are His followers. In Exodus 6, Jehovah God spoke to Moses, “Why say to the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, which brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Exodus 6:6-7). The scriptures show us that in the Old Testament Age of Law, God chose the Israelites as His people and became their God. He raised up Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, used him to issue the laws to the Israelites, and guided their life on earth. The early Israelites accepted Jehovah God’s leadership, and acted strictly according to the laws. If anyone violated the law, those who committed slight sins would have to offer sacrifices as Jehovah God required, while those who sinned grievously would be put to death. All of them were restricted by the laws. And as they had seen the majesty and wrath of Jehovah’s disposition, they were loyal to Him. Thus they received great grace and protection from God, and were allowed to serve Him in the temple for generations. So, they were followers of God in that age. However, as mankind had been so corrupted by Satan that they became ever more evil and degenerate, the Jews later were not able to observe the law. They often committed sins and violated the law, which put them in danger of being executed by the law at any time. But, as God cared for mankind, He carried out a new stage of work outside the temple in steps and according to His plan. So, the incarnate Lord Jesus came and brought the gospel of the kingdom of heaven to mankind. He hoped that everyone could come to the light and depart from the temple so as to follow the footsteps of God. The Bible records that, when the Lord Jesus spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, He said, “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Besides, He healed the sick and cast out demons, and performed many signs and wonders. Then which people are followers of the Lord Jesus? At that time, the Lord Jesus called to Peter and his brother Andrew on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The Bible records, “And he said to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Likewise, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother too were called by the Lord. And He also called upon the other disciples in this way. For example, He said to Philip, “Follow me” (John 1:43). The Lord said so because He looked deep into man’s hearts, and knew that Peter and the rest of them longed for and sought the truth. And indeed, through His words, Peter and the others recognized that the Lord Jesus had come from God. So, when the Lord Jesus called upon them, they all followed Him without hesitation. Eventually, they obtained the supply of the living water of life from the words of the Lord, took His words as a guideline in all things, and enjoyed the work of the Holy Spirit at that time. Thus, they became genuine followers of God in that age. But during that time, most of the religious leaders headed by the…
Do y0u know whether you’re following God or following man? It’s essential to learn how to discern the difference between them.