Here I Am Lord Send Me
Are you sure about that. Are you really prepared to drop everything, give up your comfortable job, your comfortable home, fellowship with close friends and family? Before you say "I'll go send me", I suggest that you read;
Matthew 19:16-22 CEV A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself.” The young man said, “I have obeyed all of these. What else must I do?” Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich.
In his interaction with Jesus this young man seems to have been a good guy. He obeyed all the commandments regarding his relationship with others. For us today it would be, living the "successful" Christian life; church every Sunday, a great marriage, five attractive (and above-average) kids, a corporate CEO with a Bible on his desk, a faithful supporter of Christian causes — the whole Christian enchilada. You would think this would be the perfect person to join and be sent by Jesus.
Matthew 28:19-20 CEV Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.
When Jesus says go He wants you to empty yourself of all things that would compete with Him as you go. Things like wealth, family, position, influence.
Like the man in this interaction with Jesus, you may be doing all the right things on the outside, but on the inside your heart is divided. Your possessions and position may be competing with God for supremacy. You've surrendered your outward behavior to God, but your commitment to him isn't absolute. I don’t believe Jesus was saying that all of us have to sell everything we have and give it to the poor. No, Jesus was looking into our hearts and saying that we haven't relinquished our lives unconditionally.
When you say "here I am Lord send me" remember that Jesus requires absolute surrender. To be a disciple means forsaking everything to follow Jesus, unconditionally, putting our lives completely in His hands. When we say that we want to be His disciple, yet attach a list of conditions, Jesus refuses to accept our terms. His terms involve unconditional surrender.
Editor’s Note: Some content from The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns
This invitation goes beyond adopting new habits, embracing Christian beliefs, and living moral lives. The Scriptures give ample evidence of what we should consider.
Before you follow Jesus, reflect on these 10 important considerations:
1. Be willing to obey and submit.
Following Jesus does not mean you live independently from his example and instruction. Christ’s followers trustfully obey and submit to his will by faith, even when it exceeds understanding. “Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’” (John 14:23).
2. Be prepared to endure hardship.
Are you prepared to endure hardship for Christ’s cause? Following Jesus means hardship is not only a possibility, but a guarantee. But James 1:12 explains, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” As we endure hardship, we can be assured of Christ’s provision for it: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
3. Be ready to see the ugliness of your sin.
Walking with Jesus Christ means seeing the sin he reveals, confronting it, and asking for forgiveness. You will continue to fall short daily, and that can be frustrating for believers who assume that following Christ is equivalent to perfection. As you still succumb to temptations and earthly pleasures, you will find that having a new heart means you have a new awareness and sensitivity to sin when you never did before. But take heart, friend. Christ’s perfect sacrifice has covered us from condemnation, and he will supply you with the strength you need flee from sin.
4. Know that the world will not always accept you.
When you truly know Jesus Christ, it’s hard to fathom how others won’t receive him and his followers. But Jesus doesn’t shield us from this sobering reality: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18, NIV). If the world is not walking with him, they are fighting against him. Therefore, as his follower, you will find yourself in similar situations of persecution, misunderstanding, condemnation, unacceptance, hostility, and oppression. Amongst the world’s antagonism, cling to what Peter and the apostles acknowledged in Acts 5:29: “We must obey God rather than men.”
5. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone.
Christians are called to seek justice, defend the helpless, and serve the poor. None of these commands can be accomplished by sitting quietly in your home. Whether you are comfortable with the Lord’s commands or not, you will be challenged to speak up when you’re scared, intimidated, or uncomfortable. Jesus isn’t saying you must be full of doctrinal knowledge or a spiritual superstar to do these things; no, Jesus calls us to a willing and obedient heart that follows wherever he leads.
Through Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross, and by faith in him, your sins have been cleared from your record. But this doesn’t mean you have freedom to take Christ’s sacrifice for granted and continue sinning. You will still stand before God’s judgment seat, giving an account of your actions to him (Romans 14:12). Not only must you remain accountable to God, but to others in the body of Christ. Accountability seems intimidating, but it is a gift from God to help us walk the right path.
7. Accept him at his word.
Your limited humanity means you will not always understand God’s sovereignty. You will question why he allows suffering, where he is in the silence, and why your prayers seemingly go unanswered. But you have not been instructed to fully understand; you are to walk by faith, acknowledging that his ways are higher than yours, and that his thoughts are greater than yours (Isaiah 55:9).
8. Leave things behind.
Ephesians 4 tells us to no longer walk how we used to (v. 17) because our understanding was darkened, we were excluded from God, we were ignorant, and our hearts were hardened (v. 18). But we don’t know Christ in this way anymore (v. 20), because we have heard his truth and listened (v. 21). Therefore, we are to put aside our old self, prior to knowing Christ, and to put on our new self, which is now in the likeness of God (v. 24). Faith in Christ demands a radical change in your lifestyle from the way you once behaved. It may mean removing yourself from people or situations that ultimately do not glorify God, and this can be challenging.
9. Expect to be humbled.
Philippians 2 tells us that followers of Christ do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but humbly count others more significant than themselves (v. 3) and look to the interests of others (v. 4). Christians are to walk humbly because Christ himself did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant (vv. 6-8). Boasting in our weakness (2 Corinthians 11:30) seems counterintuitive to our culture, but it is our duty as Christ-followers.
10. Prepare to love.
At first glance, this final consideration sounds easily achievable. But in loving as Christ did, this means you cannot be selective about who you love. Following Jesus means loving without condition. But don’t be confused: Loving here means loving in action, not feelings. You may not be able to feel love for your obnoxious neighbor or spiteful relative, but you are still commanded to love them. John 13:34-35 spells this out: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
By loving others in spite of their sin, the world will see something different in you—and that beautiful difference is that you are a follower of Jesus Christ, unconditionally loved by him through his gospel of grace.