Call to Discipleship
We’ve all read the verses: "Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men” (Luke 5:10); “and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear” (Philippians 1:14); and “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18b): There are, of course, more references, but these will do for what I’m about to say. In my short walk I’ve heard statements like, “I’m too shy”, “I’ll be criticized by peers”, and “My friends will reject me”.
In Christ there is “freedom.” “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). These are very familiar words often spoken. Everyone wants to be free, Paul tells us that Jesus himself wants us to be free in Galatians 1:5 where he writes, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” God’s will for our life is to be free and to enjoy that freedom. If you’ll indulge me for a minute, Kris Kristofferson penned these words, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” We as “friends” of Jesus Christ really don’t have anything to lose. Paul tells us that his attitude was such that, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” and “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight — we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:6-9). The only mention of fear I see for a disciple of Christ is in reference to God Himself, and that fear is “reverence” (having deep respect), not being afraid. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear), but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
So, Christian, disciple of Christ, GO! Go and make disciples of those around you. You need not fear anything. Be that vessel of God, through Christ, drawing all you meet to Him!