Every person who would be a follower of Jesus has the same responsibility. We must love Jesus with all that we are and all that we have. Our love must be expressed in the way we live our lives, the things that we do. Each one of us is accountable for how we spend our time and how we invest the resources that God has entrusted to us. It’s not just a select few that are called to the heavy lifting of living out our faith. Jesus never placed classifications on His followers. He never said that some were to feed the hungry while others could relax at home and indulge in their own excesses. No, Jesus said that each and every one of us was to go and tell others about Him, to care for the needs of others.
In our Western culture, there is a pervasive attitude that once we have accepted Christ we can pretty much coast through the rest of our lives. While some will embrace what it means to truly follow Jesus, far more will carry on with life as usual after professing Christ as their savior. It’s easy to lose sight of the urgency to build the kingdom when we live in comfort and freedom. We’ve been conditioned all our lives to aspire to modern conveniences and abundances. This is what success looks like; it’s the American dream. People accept Christ, live a moderately moral life and attend church regularly; and that’s it! That is the extent of their Christian life. Living a life that looks like Jesus is so much more than this. It’s more than sporadic acts of kindness. It’s more than being a joyful and generous person. A true follower of Jesus is one who actively seeks to be the hands and feet of Jesus in each moment of the day.
There is no excuse for any Christian to not live a life that looks like Jesus. In every activity we must do a heart check to determine if it is an activity in which Jesus would engage or one that would please Him. We are His servants, slaves of the King. Our freedom is found in doing the will of God; beyond that we have no latitude. We are not free to engage in activities that contradict our calling; this is disobedience. I have no problem proudly proclaiming myself to be a slave to Jesus. I am happy to give up everything I have for Him. There is no shame in slavery when we are yoked to Jesus. We are His servants, yes, but we are servants inundated with a love that is beyond our comprehension or measure. This is servanthood by choice. Why would someone choose to be a servant of Jesus and then show such disregard for His commands?
In Ephesians 5:15-16, Paul tells us that we must make the most of our time because we live in evil days. Making the most of our time does not include sleeping away our life, sitting on the couch for hours on end or engaging in entertaining but ultimately useless forms of recreation. I don’t want to stand before God and tell Him I could have done more for Him, but then I would have had to watch less television or hang out less with my friends. Jesus said that we could not be His follower if we didn’t hate our friends and family. This simply means that He must come first in all things and at all times. I firmly believe that God established the law of the Sabbath to allow us times of refreshment, a time to catch our breath. But the Sabbath is only set up as one-seventh of our time. Can we honestly say that we only spend that small amount of time on our own personal entertainment and relaxation?
There are no exceptions allowed for being a follower of Jesus. Your age, race or gender makes no difference. If we would follow Jesus, we must do those things that He told us to do. We must feed the hungry, care for the single mothers, the homeless, the sick and anyone else in need. We must give generously to those who have less than we do. We must shine the light of God on everyone we meet and tell them of our love for Jesus. We must not rest, we must not tire; we must press on and forward at all times. This is how each of us must live, not just a few, not just some. No one has an excuse to simply profess Jesus with their lips and then lead a life of leisure. We are called to service and to action. There are no exceptions.