Pull your head out of your phone.
Luke 9 57-62
The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead![l] Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
I am sure I could write 10 pages on all the turmoil, moral failure, and other notable chaos going on in our beloved nation right now. It is obvious, disturbing and hard not to gawk at. I can complain and criticize with the best of them, but you and I do not have time for that. We are on a mission to preach the Kingdom and there is no time to get distracted. We must stay focused on the vision God has laid upon on us. Appalachia is our mission field, and the Good news of Jesus is our prize.
There is never a good time to be obedient, and there are always great excuses to get sidelined. If we can stop now, then we were never following God, we were just chasing our ambitions until it was not convenient anymore. The call is not contingent on circumstances. So, we will continue. I have counted the cost and with certainty can declare Jesus is worth it all. I cannot tell you what will happen this year in the world and in our nation, but I can tell you what we as a church will be doing.
1. First Church will be encountering Jesus in deep, intimate prayer and worship. God has put a clear call on our body to pick up the mantle of intercession for our community and nation. God is raising up intercessors who will engage with God's Word and heart. Men and women who will dedicate themselves to crying out for revival in Appalachia and for our Nation.
2. First Church will continue planting and multiplying Life Groups / House Churches. It's clear in the scripture that small groups are vital to sustaining the larger gathered church. Have I mentioned, we are not a church that does life group ministry, we are life groups that gather for church. The first Church in the book of Acts met house to house as well as in the temple.
3. First Church will continue evangelizing and reaching our mission field the way Jesus taught and demonstrated. Preaching the Gospel by healing the sick, casting out devils, and raising the dead. We won't compromise for anything less. There is no separating miracles from the preaching of the Gospel.
So, I invite you to pull your head out of the news and get back to the work God has started in us. I imagine that Jesus probably offended the men who gave him their valid reasons in the scripture above. His pointed words could seem uncompassionate or egocentric. I am also sure that people will think that about us. Though Jesus knew, what we are beginning to discover. The Gospel must be preached. Our God is calling and our neighbors, whether they know it or not, are depending on it!