In Luke 9:59-62, Jesus asked some men to follow him and they had excuses. One said he must go tell his parents good-bye. One said he needed to go bury his father first. Jesus told the men that they did not need to look back, but needed to move forward for the kingdom of God. This passage was never resolved in my brain. While it must have been an honor to be asked to follow Jesus, it seemed harsh to have to leave everything behind to do so.
The speaker on AFR gave an example of moving to a new town and finding a congregation to worship with. We seem to look for churches that meet our needs. Do they have members in our age group? Do they have children? Are they large enough? Do we like the preacher? Is the location convenient? Do they have Wednesday night meals? Instead we need to look for a church that will help us to meet God's needs. Can we participate in mission work? Can we work in a jail ministry? Can we teach bible classes? Does the youth group participate in service to the community? Can we actively do work for God?
Looking back over our many moves, it seems we chose the congregations we worshipped with by what they could do for us not what we could do for God. We have been very blessed with the congregations we attended and were able to do much work for Him. We have been involved with visitation groups, benevolence work, meeting newcomers to the community, teaching bible classes, working with Vacation Bible Schools, and much more. But what works might we have missed and could have finished, if that was our emphasis from the beginning?
Back to the scripture above, maybe Jesus didn't want someone following him to see which of their needs could be met by him. Jesus wanted them to follow him so they would be able to meet God's needs and wholly devote their life to God's work. We need to leave our needs behind and concentrate on meeting the needs of God to further His kingdom.
There was a song we sang when I was a little girl that fits this thought well. I couldn't find the song in any of our church song books, but I did find it in a poem on the internet:
Christ has no hands but our hands, to do his work today.
He has no feet but our feet, to lead men in his way.
He has no lips but our lips, to tell men how he died;
He has no self but ourselves, to bring men to his side.
What if our hands are busy, with other work than his?
What if our feet are straying where sin’s allurement is?
What if our lips are saying the things his lips would scorn?
How can we hope to help him, and hasten his return?
Think about it. :)