December 12, 2014

Leaving It Behind

Luke 2:15-16

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
—Luke 2:15


Following Jesus can be costly.

Once the shepherds heard the news of Jesus’ birth, they were told where to find the newborn Savior. They were barely able to contain their excitement as they decided to go to Bethlehem to see what the angel had told them about. But a cost might be involved. Shepherds weren’t supposed to leave their sheep in the middle of the night.

Sometimes it may seem easy to leave our current situation in order to follow Jesus. I would imagine that hearing an angel chorus proclaiming the arrival of the promised Messiah, and inviting me to see what God was doing, would be exciting enough to get me to go right away and see what the angels had described!

But seeking Jesus usually means leaving something behind, and our attachment to some things can keep us from engaging fully in a life of serving our Lord. We may feel attached to our lifestyle, our friends, our ability to make our own decisions, or just the ease of not having to live up to someone else’s standards.

When we are willing to leave our personal desires behind, however, we will find that the blessings of following the Savior will eventually be worth more than anything we might be called to give up.

Holy Spirit, move within my heart so that I am ready to leave behind anything that keeps me from pursuing your plans. May I fully experience the joy of serving and knowing you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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