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Reordering all priorities and loyalties

“Follow me.” Instead of followers choosing the rabbi that most caught their interest, the Master Teacher chose his disciples. Christians are not volunteers, nor do they serve how and when they think best. The calling of Jesus Christ requires immediate response and complete abandonment of the former life in order to take up the Savior’s work. While one may remain in one’s station of life, one reorders all priorities and loyalties in order to live with God. Matthew 4.18-22, 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Thessalonians 5.10.

Often, people emphasize the distance between God and man, between Christ and his disciples. A far greater truth, however, appears in Scripture — the proximity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to his favorite creature. The command (for it is that, and more) to follow the Lord is also an invitation to walk with him, live with him, rejoice in him. If people emphasize the distance rather than his nearness, one can only wonder if it is because they have failed to draw near to him. Why else?

¶ About three weeks ago, columnist and former managing editor Richard Mansel wrote his 500th consecutive article here on Forthright. He’s never missed a single week. He holds a Forthright record that will likely never be beat. We’re grateful for Richard’s consistent, quality articles. We count him as a good friend and coworker in the gospel. His contributions continue to enrich our lives and we pray the Lord will increase his fruitful harvest in his upcoming change of ministry.

¶ Recently, I picked up, again, a book written for men. One chapter deals with fatherhood, and I felt challenged by it. I no longer have children at home, but I pray the Lord can help me to be a good father, a better father, to my children even as they have families of their own. In his book, Vital Thoughts for a Victorious Marriage, my old college teacher Elvis H. Huffard Sr. stated as one of his major, concluding points, “Remember that the performance as the head [of the home] will be evaluated by God.” Fathers will answer to God, and that truth ought to inspire us to faithful service in that function.

¶ Everett Ferguson quotes Isidore in his book Inheriting Wisdom: “No one is able to understand the meaning of holy Scripture except by the familiarity of frequent reading.” Would you say amen to that sentiment? I believe it. Let us all practice it.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet.

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