All for Jesus. Sorta. Kinda. Well Almost.

Here they come again.

Younger each year, or maybe I’m just older. They come with their finger on a map and feet pointed forward, eager to go anywhere and do anything for Jesus. Men and women arrive ready to learn and willing to obey. Every new group of global workers amazes me with talent, energy and brains.

Candidates arrive at our sending agency with a unified passion, to proclaim the gospel where it isn’t. And with each week of training my own commitment is challenged by these young goers. Their going blesses me. It renews my faith. God still works in the lives of another generation wanting to love and serve him with heart, mind and soul.

I’d been praying for my friend for a long time. Her daughter, a believer was involved in a relationship with someone who didn’t share her faith. The situation grieved my friend and her husband.

You likely know a similar story, have experienced it as parents, or lived it.

“Please pray her heart would love Jesus more,” my friend asked. “Pray that she loves Jesus so much she doesn’t continue in this relationship.”

And the prayers flowed for years, until one day, my friend’s daughter and boyfriend broke the relationship.

Her daughter’s new prayer became, “I just want someone who loves Jesus with heart, mind and soul.” Born within a fervent heart full of renewed communion with Christ, she petitioned her Lord.

In the ensuing months of rejoicing as God continued to work in this young lady’s life, drawing her to a deeper walk and love with Him, my friend again expressed her desire that her daughter marry someone who loves God with heart, mind and soul.

But when cross-cultural missions knocked on the door, my friend’s response came immediately.

“Oh no, not that. I don’t want my daughter to leave me.”

How fickle we are. How quick to be like Moses, Aaron and those Israelites camped at the base of God’s mountain with a golden calf glimmering in their midst. We pledge devotion to God heart, mind and soul, but our dedication is so easily forgotten. We travel from the mountain top of all for Jesus to sorta… kinda… well almost in one breath.

We all do. Me too. And one of the big tests is our kids.

When all for Jesus comes with our own disclaimers it becomes a sham.

“Let me just place a couple of clauses on loving Jesus heart mind and soul,” we balk. A few minor exceptions.

  • Not my house.
  • Not my stuff.
  • And not my kids.

And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he (Jesus) said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18: 28-30 (ESV)

A new batch of goers line up. They make their claim to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. Smiles of promise light each face. I know somewhere there is a mom and dad with hands open and tears flowing. And I thank Jesus for those who love Him so much nothing is barred so everything might be gained.

7 Replies

  1. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Well said young man. Either God is given our whole or He is given nothing. The “in-between”, the “half-measures” are, in my simple mind, saying “We love you, but we love ourselves more Lord.” It might work for a while, but eventually, that selfishness turns into a bigger and bigger elephant in our spiritual living room; and soon there is little if any room left for God in our lives. There’s no middle ground for Christ, it’s an all or nothing decision we must all eventually make. Thank you for your willing service with your sending agency; and especially your willingness to pray for others. God’s blessings sir.

    • J.D. Wininger Reply

      Ms. Sylvia, My sincere apologies ma’am. I can only blame this on being an old guy, but I could have sworn the byline on your post when I first read this (and commented) earlier this week had a name that I believed was your son’s. I beg your forgiveness for my confusion. Obviously, you are not a “young man”, but a vibrant and spirit-filled woman of great character. And, I pray, capable of forgiving the mistakes of a silly old man. Apologies for the mistake ma’am.

      • Sylvia A Schroeder Reply

        Oh J. D. the fact you read it makes my heart glad. But, you didn’t make a mistake at all. My husband put it on my website for me, and so he wasn’t aware his computer also took the credit. He deserves credit anyway because he always edits what I write. Out of sheer kindness he helps me put it up. So you didn’t make any mistake. The “young man” just confirms what he already thinks!

  2. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, your post reminds me of the disciples Jesus called. They left all and followed without qualifying what they would or would not do. Total surrender is required, however, we’re sometimes brave until the call comes. Thank you for reminding us.

  3. Sylvia A Schroeder Reply

    Thank you Jeannie. In the ministry I’m involved in this story is repeated over and over. I have been on the side of going and watching my parents struggle, as well as sending my children. I understand how difficult it is, and how vital obedience is as well. The disciples are a great example. Thank you for commenting!

  4. andrew brucato Reply

    thanks Silvia another true and great reflection. always looking for the escape hatch. Andy

    • Sylvia A Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Andy. You are so right. Escape hatches are in our nature! Thanks for the comment.