“If any one desires to come after Me, let him deny himself…”(Matthew 16:24)
We read in 2 Timothy 1:9-10 “…[God] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling,
not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…”
When the apostle Paul speaks of God who has “saved us and called us with a holy calling,” I am reminded that the Lord had to shake up my life. He drew me; and eventually invaded and subdued my life. Otherwise I would have continued to live in rebellion. What a glory of God’s working of his exceeding greatness toward us who believe (Eph. 1:19)! His goal for drawing us into discipleship, to follow him, centers on his provision of his Son who has overcome death and hell and has been placed as the One and Only who is seated at the right hand of God and who reigns over all. Do you see the fore-ground and backdrop to the life of discipleship? Discipleship falls under aspects of “…[his working to] put all things under His feet…” (Ephesians 1:22).
That’s all things—that’s you and me.
Is Christ your Lord and Savior? Have you been drawn in? Subdued unto his service?
At Christ’s resurrection, the whole world came under his dominion. We get to see the on-set of the entire world being subdued—all things which he made, all things in providence under his authority, all persons under God with their various roles and responsibilities. The whole world and everything in it comes under the authority of Jesus; and all must follow in discipleship.
All things: my self-centered attitudes and ways, my past, present and future, the skeleton and muscles of my body, my parents and siblings, my wife and children, the neighborhood, city, county and state, the church where I serve, the nation with her recent election, education and economics, ladybugs and laser surgery, galaxies and germs, and property taxes and verb tenses.
Discipleship 101 means all—all persons and all things.
The whole of my life—very similar to Jesus’ call to Peter—is to be for the Lord (see Matthew 16:24-27). The whole world, as well, is in discipleship to the Lord. He tells me, and he tells the world, “Come and follow.” What a privilege! What purpose!