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Now, Not Later

(The following is the March 16 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Luke 9 and pay close attention to verses 57-62.)

As Jesus journeyed to Jerusalem, one person said, “I will follow you wherever you go” (v. 57). Another said, “First let me go bury my father” (v. 59). We do not know whether the man’s father was ill or near death, much less deceased and needing burial. The man may have meant, “Let me fulfill my family obligations however many years that takes, and then I’ll follow you.”

Another person wanted to say good-bye to his family first (v. 61), but Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (v. 62). Jesus calls people to follow him now – not at some indefinite future time.

People of all ages can easily find reasons to delay following Christ. Children may think they don’t understand enough. Teenagers may consider themselves invincible with decades to decide. Young adults may be so focused on establishing a career and family that they believe it best to “wait until things settle down.” The middle-aged may be at their most productive, ladder-climbing years where work demands much more than a typical work week. Retired seniors may choose to relax, travel, or do things they always longed for but never had the time to do. Finding reasons to delay following and serving Christ is easy when we have other priorities. Jesus says of such people that they are not fit for the kingdom of God. His words are stern but accurate and sobering.

If we wait until all aspects of life are ideal before following Christ, we will never get around to it. Today is the day to be faithful. Now is the time.

Next Step:

Are you holding back an area of your life from surrendering to Christ? What excuses have you made? Surrender that part of yourself to Christ now – not tomorrow, next month, or next year.

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