October 19

I have noticed that sometimes the simplest things seem to be the hardest to obey.  I can remember sitting in church with my friends when something hit our funny bone.  My mother would always give the “wooden spoon” stare.  I would try to suppress the laughter with every being of my body … without success.  Trying not to laugh in a tense situation is very difficult.  I have seen hilarious video of grooms and brides trying not to laugh in the middle of their most serious ceremony … without success. 

Most of what Jesus taught while here on the earth was not difficult to understand, and it seems that it should be very easy to obey.  At the end of Jesus’ one-on-one time with Peter there on the shore, He gave him a simple order “… Follow Me” (John 21:19).  That sounds easy enough.  After all, that was the same thing He had said to Peter in Matthew 4:19 when He said, “… Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Jesus had not changed His desire for the life of Peter. 

It is very important for us to realize that we are not arbitrarily wandering through this life without purpose or goals.  Even before you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, He had a plan for your life.  Yes, we are restricted in our view by our finite humanity, but God is infinite.  Before the foundations of the world were formed, God had a divine plan for each of us.  Like the wandering son of Luke 15, we sometimes go to the “far country” to explore what we think will make us happy.

The reality is that if we are outside the will of God, there will never be happiness or contentment.  I remember driving our two oldest daughters to Florida to go to college.  As we turned off the main highway onto the smaller road that led to the college, our second daughter began to cry.  She informed me that she did not want to go to college any more (in my heart, I did not want them to leave our home either).  I asked her a simple question … “Do you believe this is the will of God for your life?”  She told me that she believed it was.  I then informed her that I would not take her home with us.  I told her that if this was the will of God for her life, she would not find happiness in the safety of our home.  Inside the will of God there is peace … outside it, there is unrest!

Peter was told very simply to follow Jesus.  Nothing has changed for us today.  That is God’s will for each of us as His followers as well.  Today, do the simple things that God has asked … follow Him!  Wherever you go today, simply follow the plan that God laid out in the example of His Son!

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