In my previous post, I introduced you to Just Jesus, a new devotional by my friend Lindsay Clifford. It’s just what it says: just the words of Jesus. It is in two parts: The first half is everything that Jesus said, in order, through the New Testament. The second half is done by topics, with just the words Jesus spoke.
I read through the entire second half, letting sweet Jesus speak to me over and over. In the last post I shared with you a few of the encouraging words He said to me. Today I am reminding you of some of Jesus’ more challenging words. The truth is, there were more challenging words than encouraging ones. I am grateful He promises to enable what He requires.
These are not exhaustive or comprehensive. Each point He makes is repeated several times. Not one of these is isolated—each is part of a pattern. All of them could fall under the concept of Jesus’ call to each of us: Follow Me. So I start with that, then share a few other categories. I end with a broad topic of Live It Out.
Enjoy—and be challenged.
Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. (Matthew 4:19)
Follow me, Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. (Mk 2:14)
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:23-24)
Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)
Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. (Mark 10:21)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31)
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)
I tell you, (you must forgive) not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18: 22)
Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. (Luke 17:4)
It is more blessed to give than to receive. ( Acts 20:35)
Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on. (Mark 12:43-44)
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:33-35)
You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. ( Mark 10:42-45)
Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all. (Mark 9:35)
The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12)
Have Compassion (which Jesus demonstrated repeatedly)
I have compassion for these people… (Mark 8:2-3)
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 21:40)
Live It Out
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)
Everything is possible for one who believes. (Mark 9:23)
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3-4)
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. (Luke 6:44)
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36)
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:35)
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. …. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. (Luke 6:27-30)
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. (Matthew 4:17)
What about you? Which of these words capture your heart and mind?
C2012 Judy Douglass