As one who calls myself Christian, I have often struggled between the “two masters” described by Jesus in Matthew 6:24—the aspiration to live as a law-abiding citizen, to go to church, to avoid cursing, and to read my Bible regularly AND the yearning to seek a financially rewarding career path and secure all the necessary “goods” that would make me happy. In short, my struggle is trying to live “a good life” while having “the good life.”
Yet, I have a gnawing desire for something beyond my narrow approach to exploring the liberty, safety, and happiness that this country affords. I want to serve in my community, yet I love my comfort; honestly, I would rather stay home and watch football on Monday night than go downtown to take a homeless man out for a meal and conversation. My impulses conflict with what I know I should be doing.
It seems like the very rich, very religious man in Matthew 19 had a similar conflict. Jesus was unequivocal in His response to the man’s “What do I still lack?” He said, “Sell ALL that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Jesus’ approach is give ALL or give nothing. He says directly to you and me: “If you desire to come after Me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.” (Matt.16:24-26). Notice that whenever Jesus asks someone to give it all up, He concludes with:
I feel Jesus tugging at my heart. He is calling me to be His disciple, that is to do what He Himself has already submitted to (in an infinitely greater way)—giving it all, even life itself if necessary, to save those who are perishing. I have a hard time getting off my cozy couch and out of the comfort of my heated/air-conditioned home to help another in my spare time, and yet, He gave up a throne, His royal robes, the uninterrupted adoration of angels and a sinless universe, to start life on earth as a helpless baby, born in a stinky barn to parents who didn’t have a mite to their name…and all that for me!
But when He says, Follow Me, He is also calling me to something deeper, something that may even take greater courage than doing “great” things for Him. He asks me to follow Him on a moment-by-moment basis, to ask in every situation, WWJD, even situations that seem insignificant: when someone cuts me off in traffic, when I am about to lose my patience, or am tempted to look at a site when I should avert my eyes…
I can hear His still, small voice: “Today, I’m not asking you to knock down a door to save someone who is suffering on the other side, to give up everything you own, or your life—I want you to give Me today—your agenda, your worries, YOURSELF! Follow not only where I go, but what I am and how I act in all situations; you will become like Me and be ready for the “big” things I have in store for you.
We team members of H.O.P.E. Corporation desire to follow Jesus completely, without reserve, on a moment-by-moment basis. We want to submit all—from our pride and anger issues to our doubt and self-pity, from what we watch on our screens to what we do for a living. However, though each one of us feels called by the Lord to care for His children, we also see our inadequacies as we face this daunting task; we know that the sole secret to success is to contemplate Christ, tapping into His strength, allowing Him to change us and make us victorious. As Paul put it so beautifully: “But we with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). We are grateful to God who, in spite of our imperfections, asks us to work alongside Him as His servants to defend the weak, love the unloved, and bring hope to the hopeless.
If you believe as we here at H.O.P.E. Corporation believe, if you feel the way we feel, if you seek what we seek, then please contact us immediately. We would love to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the mission to find and restore helpless children, giving them hope in Jesus Christ to live a fulfilled life here and an eternal one where “God will be with them and be their God and He will wipe every tear from their eyes…” (Rev. 21:3, 4).
In His Name,
—A Passionate Team Member