It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s another good cause requiring attention. As Jesus followers, we should be on the forefront of seeking justice. We are called to restore creation and to bring about change by loving all of our neighbors well. But following Jesus isn’t just another good cause to be a part of. It’s a calling to give our lives to. Will it often involve an active part in advocating for other causes? Absolutely! But first and foremost, we have to recognize that our mission is to make disciples. Read this excerpt from the You’ve Heard It Said Bible Plan about that, and check out the podcast to go along with it.
Do you ever feel like you don’t have the capacity to care about every good cause you hear about? It’s almost like our cares have been commodified. Businesses and nonprofits tell compelling stories to inspire change and encourage action, and it’s a beautiful thing. But too much information from too many sources can sometimes crowd out our compassion.
Jesus often rejected concepts accepted by culture with this famous phrase, “You’ve heard it said … but I say …” He did this most often in the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus said, “You’ve heard it said,” He was challenging us to break out of routine obedience and inviting us into a full-life surrender.
It wasn’t just “avoid adultery.” It was “don’t even look at anyone with lust.” It wasn’t just “tolerate your enemies.” It was “love your enemies!” It wasn’t just “don’t murder.” It was “don’t even harbor hate in your heart.”
Pastor Craig Groeschel often says, “You can’t be a partially surrendered follower of Christ.” You can’t just pick and choose what you want to follow. To follow Jesus is to give up your own preferences to pursue God’s purposes.
But this calling? It’s not just another cause. It’s not just some spiritual checklist to earn God points. It’s not just some boring routine to follow. Following Jesus is choosing to be a part of bringing God’s Kingdom here to earth, knowing that His mission is to one day make all things right.
Check out the response of some of Jesus’ earliest followers:
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. Matthew 4:19-20 NLT
They left everything they knew immediately to follow Jesus. And we’re called to do the same. In Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, He offers some characteristics of those who follow Him. We call them the Beatitudes—things like seeking justice, showing empathy, working for peace, and being persecuted for doing what’s right.
Following Jesus isn’t an easy calling, but it’s a worthy one. It’s more than a good cause. It is choosing to be a part of God’s plan to restore all things, not because we deserve it, but because Jesus paid the price for us. It’s accepting grace. It’s living justly. And it’s a whole-life response of seeking God.
Pray: God, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for not only saving me but also inviting me to be a part of Your mission. Thank You for my calling—help me live a life worthy of the calling I’ve received from You. Help me live justly. Today, I surrender everything to You. Guide me and lead me as I go throughout my day. In Jesus’ name, amen.