trACker number358 Sometimes When the Going Gets Tough We Follow Jesus from A Distance
by Dudley Anderson
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13 May 2011
Dear God Tracker
Sometimes When the Going Gets Tough We Follow Jesus from A Distance
The morning sun glinted off the gentle waves of the lake as Simon and his brother Andrew cast their fishing nets into its waters like they had done so many times before. They worked in partnership with friends and were good at what they did. But somehow Simon had a feeling this morning would be different. He knew that a new travelling rabbi was in town and that he enjoyed walking along the banks of the lake, teaching people. As it happened, this rabbi was on the shore today, just a few meters from where he and Andrew were casting their nets. As Simon looked up he looked straight into Jesus’ eyes. “Come follow me,” he said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately Simon and Andrew pulled up their nets and rowed back to shore. Leaving everything, they began following Jesus.
Simon and Andrew followed Jesus with 10 other close disciples for close on three years. They heard his awesome teaching and witnessed the awesome miracles he performed. On one occasion Jesus had asked his disciples who people say he was and Simon, in his characteristic brash manner, had looked Jesus in the eye and said, “You are the Christ; son of the living God.” Jesus then said that his name would be changed to Peter, which meant rock.
Peter was proud of his new name. One evening, Jesus was talking about going away. Peter was impetuous and said that no matter where Jesus went, he would always follow him even to death. But Jesus had replied, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times”.
Early hours of that same morning a major uproar in Jerusalem had resulted in Jesus being arrested and accused of blasphemy. The hordes had demanded his crucifixion. Jesus was flogged and beaten. In mockery, they placed a crown of thorns on his head. The other disciples had fled, except for John, who was still close to Jesus. But Peter was following from a distance. A servant girl approached him while he warmed himself by a fire and accused him of being a follower of the Nazarene. Indignant, Peter had denied the charge. Two more times he was identified and accused of being a follower of Jesus but Peter cursed and said, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” Then in the distance a rooster crowed. Peter froze. Slowly he lifted his gaze and looked to where Jesus was standing, a way off. Their eyes met. Peter, the rock who went out and wept bitterly. He was a broken man before his God.
How many of us, after hearing the Lord’s call, say, “Jesus I will follow you to the end?” How many times do we pray, “Lord guide me and I will follow?” How often do we sing songs like, “I surrender all” but find that when difficulty arrives or we’re bullied for being a Christ follower, we back off like Peter did? God-tracker, today, let’s stop fooling ourselves and let us set our eyes on Jesus, who endured the cross. Let us decide today to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow him. Jesus has called us all to be fishers of men but sometimes when the going gets tough we follow him from a distance!
God-tracking is following Jesus up front.
What is trACker?
GodTracker and trACker owe their origins to an international Christian radio programme produced by Dudley Anderson called, OnTrack. Although OnTrack went off-air in 2005, trACker has continued to help people to track God's plans and purposes for their lives since July 2003.
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Verse of the Week
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Quote of the Week
A Sample of Dudley’s Fave Quotes.
“The will of God for your life is simply that you submit yourself to Him each day and say, "Father, Your will for today is mine. Your pleasure for today is mine. Your work for today is mine. I trust you to be God. You lead me today and I will follow." --- Kay Arthur
Don’t Give-up, Look-up!
Look-up and Fix Your Eyes On Jesus!
Abandon My Own Selfish Ideals to Follow You
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life
“Jesus I apologise for following you from a distance when things get tough in my life. Lord, sometimes I tend to follow from a distance when things get comfy, as well. Forgive me, Lord. Today I choose to put my faith in your guidance and I choose to follow you wherever you lead me. Dear God I acknowledge you in all my ways. Thank you for the promise that you will bless me with so much more if I am willing to abandon my own selfish ideals to follow you. Help me to hear your voice; help me to know your nudge and to sense your leadership in every aspect of my life. Amen.”
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