Rev. Marion J. Miller

Marion Miller.

“So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, 'Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.' And all the Levites rallied to him.” Exodus 32:26

It’s evident in this pandemic that we are living in life or death situations. Some of us find it real difficult to guess what circumstances we might face from day to day. So on this Memorial Day weekend be encouraged to remember and then pray to God the words, “Stand by me.”

Those who live a daily life with God know that God is always standing by. For we have a clear conscience and a clean heart to fulfill our mission of sharing God’s word with the world.

Jesus’ last words to his disciples before returning to his Father in heaven were to “take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world.” 

Jesus also said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And since man has not found a new way to heaven, why not become followers of Jesus Christ? It is, and it always has been, plainly stated what’s involved in being his follower. Consider these three things as a true follower: denial of self, cross bearing and following him.

To deny self is not the same as self-denial. Deny self means to yield to God’s control so completely that you don’t desire to do anything that’s outside of God’s will for your life.

To take up the cross means having the willingness to endure shame, suffering and perhaps death for his sake. And that means to die to sin, to self and to the world.

To follow him means to live as he lived. And that involves living with love and humility, poverty and compassion, and grace and mercy. This is what it means to be on the Lord’s side. 

This passage of scripture reminds of a time when Moses asked the people of Israel, “Who’s on the Lord’s side?” He had just returned from the mountains and found that they had rebelled against God. Moses called upon the faithful to come and stand by him. The ones who answered the call were from the tribe of Levi. These men with unyielding loyalty fulfilled their mission, and for this reason they were made priests of Israel forever. 

Determination is something the Lord looks for in his followers, and when he sees it, he will reward it. Remember, Jesus is saying to us today, just as Moses said, come “stand by me.”

Rev. Marion J. Miller is senior pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church, Jeffersonville. Contact her at 812-283-3747 or wesley1201@sbcglobal.net.

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