Heart Strings, Journey To and Through the Cross

Journey To and Through the Cross ~Gathering the Others~

In the next few weeks we will be discussing the journey to and through the cross.  See the introduction to and other series posts on the main page below this post.

Flock of Sheep courtesy of Petr Kratochvil

Safety in a Dangerous World

Yesterday I took my girls to see The Croods.  As we walked through the mall I asked them to hold hands.  We were strung together as we walked from place to place.  I did not want to lose one of them.  At times one girl would let go and lag behind.  I did not have her in my sight, and so I would turn and call them to come to where the rest of us were.  Different distractions would get their attention, and they would be separated from me.  I know the danger of this world as one who is an advocate against sex trafficking and sexual abuse.  Although what they were doing really wasn’t wrong, it was dangerous for us to be apart in the crowds of people.

When Jesus calls us to follow He tells us to get behind Him and follow.  (see What Does it Mean to Follow?  Last week’s post.)  He knows the danger of this world, and although there are distractions that would lead us astray that seem perfectly safe, they are not.  As the Shepherd He does not want one of His sheep to get lost.

One by One Together

As one by one the disciples were called to follow Jesus more were added to the group.  I don’t think they walked strung together hand in hand, but they stayed together with Jesus going before them.  His leadership was protecting them.  Just as mine was protecting my girls.

Each of my girls is different.  Each has different gifts and talents, demeanor, education, and interests.  However they are all my daughters.  Each of the disciples that Jesus called were gathered from different walks of life, there were fishermen, blue-collar workers, and the despised.  They may not have been from the higher echelon of society.  Although, one was a tax collector who was esteemed by the Romans who employed him, he was despised due to the fact he was an Israelite collecting taxes from his own people for his and Rome’s financial gain.

Some of the disciples were called before the others.  Each of my children were born in a specific order.  That order does not prevent the same amount of overwhelming love from flowing out toward each of them.  Just as their differences and their wandering ways do not prevent it either.

Jesus knew beforehand that in order to bring in the harvest there would need to be workers.  Not one worker.  He sent them out two by two.  He also knew that when He had led them as far as He could on this earth they would need each other.

10 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also,[a] and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.

Luke 10:1-3 NKJV

Distractions and Destiny

Some of the distractions that led my children to stop following me and let go of each others hands was their tendency to fight with one another.  Unity in the body of Christ is now, more than ever, something we must strive for.  Together we learn from each other, lift one another up, share each others burdens, and encourage one another.

We may all be different, and we may all have come to Christ at different times through our spiritual birth, but we are all following Jesus.  Being led by Him is a decision we come to not because he doesn’t accept others, but because another spoke the Word which drew us to Him through the power of the Holy Spirit.  If we recognize that we may not agree, but we follow the same Jesus who is willing to lead us into safety through the danger of the world, we can be assured that He will protect us and guide us as a unit.

Occasionally, one of my girls would get tired as we had a long day of church, lunch together, and took in a movie.  I would help them stand up, urge them on, and remind them where we were going next and of the rest we would receive when we got home.  If we accept the others for who they are in Him as they attempt to follow Him then we have the ability to rest in His leadership, and also have our arms lifted when weary from doing good.  We can remind each other that Jesus is leading us, would never lead us into harm, and will give us a resting place.  We can share our experiences with one another, pray for one another, and take the hand of one who is lost and show them the way back to Jesus.

In following Jesus this week let’s remember to follow Him in gathering others.  Let’s pursue unity with each other.  With the lost, the one’s who don’t agree with us, the ones who are despised by the religious people of society, the ones who are following Jesus amongst us, and the ones who need to be lifted up and reminded that Jesus is leading us through the darkness of the world toward a final destination of rest.  He is the light and if we keep our eyes on Him, following Him, we will be led to rest and to safety.  There is a destination for each of us.  Following Him, and accepting the others He is gathering is a part of that destiny.

Jesus wants to hold your hand and lead you through the dangers of this world.  In the midst of darkness He is a shining light to our feet.  Hold the hands of our brothers and sisters in Christ that they may too see the light in the darkness.  In this way we show those who do not know Jesus our love.

They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.  Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love. -Peter Schools

They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love

We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored

And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, By our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
By our love

We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net ]

That God is in our land

We will work with each other
We will work side by side
We will work with each other
We will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity
And save each man’s pride

All praise to the Father
From whom all things come
And all praise to Christ Jesus His only son
And all praise to the Spirit
Who makes us one

Make us one, Lord!

Make us one, Lord!
Lyrics from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net”>eLyrics.net</a&gt;

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