Jesus does not hold back when He calls His disciples to holiness and perfection. He desires the best from them and in the same way He desires us to give Him our best as well. There is often a tendency to be satisfied with a ‘near enough is good enough attitude.’ When it comes to the Kingdom of God we should avoid this temptation by remembering that God the Father gave us the best He had when He sent Jesus His Son to die for us on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven and we would be reconciled to Him.

I think that it is fair enough that God would expect us to give Him our very best as well! What does this mean in practical terms for us? Firstly it means that when we set time aside for prayer it needs to be quality time when we are fully awake and alert. It is an insult to God’s goodness to us if we are always falling asleep in prayer because we only ever pray when we are really tired! This also applies to the times when we read the Scriptures. We should ensure that our minds are attentive to what we are doing and not just distracted by the surrounding noise and activities.

Secondly, when we are responding to God’s call on our life it should be an all or nothing type response. Lukewarm responses only ever lead to mediocrity and compromise. The call of the Gospel is utter and complete; there are no half-measures here! We either follow God and do His will or we fall short of being obedient to Him.

The third is similar to the second only a little more specific. When we place our services at the beck and call of the Gospel we should do so whole-heartedly and with joy. This means that we should always serve to the best of our ability in a joyful manner. There is little more discouraging and unappealing than a person who makes it absolutely clear that the service they are offering is done begrudgingly. We never here Jesus complaining about anything the Father has asked Him to do! He single-mindedly seeks to be obedient to His Father’s call down to the last detail.

Fourthly, we should ensure that our priorities are correct. That is, our service to the Kingdom of God takes first place in our lives. Sometimes this service may not seem to be directly connected to the Gospel. For example, parents must make it a very high priority to form their children in the ways of the Gospel. Their commitment to this responsibility is a commitment to the Kingdom of God in that they are preparing their children for later service in the Kingdom of God! Parents ought to give the formation of their children one of the highest priorities in their lives as if it is not done properly at a young age, it is very difficult to turn things around when they are already teenagers. The roots of discipleship, such as obedience and attentiveness to the God’s Word should be established early in life or it will be a big struggle to do it later on.

Is my life properly ordered so that I am best able to grow in holiness each day? Have I truly embraced the call to be a disciple of Jesus?

Holy Spirit, it is only with the help of your grace that I will be able to order my life in the way that God wants me to. Help me to open my life up to His direction and guidance so that I will be able to hear His Word each day and respond to it in obedience and love.