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CBMC friends at Beulah Beach Men's Retreat
Monday, April 24, 2006
"What Is That To You?"
"Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me'" (John 21:22).
This weekend I attended a men's retreat in northern Ohio with several friends from CBMC, an organization with a mission of ministry to Christian businessmen. I was so blessed by the teaching and fellowship. During a time of sharing one man told a moving story. Two years ago his daughter had been tragically killed in an automobile accident. Over time God helped him through his deep grief and has given him an assurance of His sovereignty and love through his devastating loss.
Testimonies reveal how God has worked or is presently working in our lives. Whether it's a message of one's background and how they came to Christ or a testimony of how God has worked in their life as a believer our testimonies vary. God simply does not work in our lives in the same way.
After Christ's resurrection Peter had an interesting exchange with Jesus that many feel is part of his restoration following his denial of Christ. Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him and instructed him to feed His sheep. Following the third time Jesus prophetically spoke concerning the manner of Peter's death, which I dealt with in Friday's message. *1
After Jesus said this, Peter looked over at John and asked, "Lord, what about him?" Peter was curious. He and John, along with James, had been a part of the inner circle of disciples that on numerous occasions in the gospels had been allowed to get a little closer to Jesus, such as at the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter, after hearing about his manner of death, also wanted to know what was in store for John. *2
I can identify with his inquisitiveness, but Christ essentially tells him that it's none of his business and reiterates quite emphatically the call, "You must follow me."
That's such a needed word for us today. So often we may wonder about God's leading or blessing in the lives of others. Why did they get that promotion? Why are they prospering in a manner greater than I am? Or, if they deal with a very difficult trial we may wonder about that as well. Why, why, why.
May we hear our Lord's stern, but loving rebuke, "What is that to you?"
The very first recorded words that Peter heard personally directed to him from Jesus were "Come, follow me" (Matthew 4:19). The very last recorded personal words to Peter from Jesus were "You must follow me." This is a clear message to Peter and to us regarding the call to be His disciple! It remains the supreme call of Jesus Christ to each one of us.
Many years later when Peter was writing his epistles he again recalled this command to follow and wrote, "You should follow in His steps". (This became the source verse for "In His Steps" by Charles M. Sheldon, one of the greatest Christian books ever written.)
Today may we again hear and heed His call to each one of us; "You must follow me." Let us hear this call amid the clamor in our lives. Hear it simply. Hear it clearly. Hear it personally. "You must follow me."
Be encouraged today,
Stephen C. Weber
Brooksyne's Prayer: Jesus, when I chose to follow You, You changed the direction of my life. The greatest change came about when I no longer had a worldly point of view. I began to view people and situations the way that You view them according to the standards written in the Word of God. I truly want to follow in Your steps because Your steps direct me in the paths of righteousness and blessing, rather than aimlessly wandering in the paths of wickedness and regret. Keep my heart faithful and my eyes fastened on the paths marked out for me on this earthly journey.
*1 Friday's message "Follow Me"
*2 It's interesting to me that Peter didn't ask about James. He was the first of the twelve disciples to die a martyr's death as recorded in Acts 12.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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