I heard their stories but had difficulty believing family could actually turn their backs on other family members.
I was one who had also given up everything to be where I was-at college preparing for the ministry. Though I didn’t sell a house, my family and I had moved to a strange place where we knew no one. My prior employment didn’t provide lucrative income, but it came with benefits and a steady paycheck. Now our family was 400 miles away, in another state, and presently unemployed.
But when classmates relayed stories of family rejection because of their decision to leave everything for God, I couldn’t identify. My family encouraged me. No doubt some were labeled “over the edge,” religious fanatics, and Jesus freaks.
Jesus could identify though. He was so busy doing his Father’s work that he didn’t have time to eat. Crowds thronged him. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said (Mark 3:21 NLT).
Following God’s call puts me at risk of misunderstanding. Some won’t comprehend why I do some things “without pay.” Others will question how I can believe what I do. Jesus was foregoing rest and nutrition.
Taking up Christ’s cross also involves the danger of isolation. Jesus’ family thought he was out of his mind. Some will avoid me because of who I am and the stands I take on various moral issues.
I also chance persecution when others view me as having gone over the edge. Persecution typically follows what is labeled different or odd. Persecution can be physical, social, or mental, but it will come. Jesus said so.
Is following Christ so important that you’ll risk misunderstanding, isolation, and persecution? Will you go over the edge for Christ?
Prayer: Give us courage Lord Jesus to go over the edge for You as You did for us.
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