Sunday, September 7, 2008

Discipleship

"True discipleship is for volunteers only." It's been too long since I had an Elder Maxwell quote. I love this one! To be a true disciple of Christ one must desire it within. And at times somethings need to be left behind.

I love the island of Ovalau in Fiji. I spent 4 months here as a missionary. It was awesome! And I've been lucky enough to get out to it in both of my return trips. The island has a beautiful coastline, with a mountainous interior (not a "rocky mountain" standard, but for Fiji). There is only one town on the island, Levuka. The first capital of Fiji (it has since moved to Suva). The little town of Levuka has a lot of heritage and a lot of pride. Anywhere you are on the island, however, there's only one road that will take you to town. Any other road will end up in some other village. There's just the one road, which circles the island, that goes to Levuka. What's the message?? John 14:6= Christ is the only road back to our Father, so we better follow Him.

In Matthew chapter 4 we learn of the calling of 4 apostles; Peter, Andrew, James and John. The Savior testified of who He was and called them to "Follow Him". This call is for all who wish to hear it. We need to follow Him. I had students search verses 18-22 to see how these disciples responded to the call. They were quick to notice the words "straightway" and "immediately" in verses 20 and 22. They also brought up that they left what they were doing to follow Him. I had them circle the word "left" in those to verses. True discipleship takes sacrifice and the Lord won't force us to give up things. That has to come from within. Remember, "For volunteers only." Wow! What it must have taken to leave behind their jobs, their source of income and food, their families. It's amazing to see such faith when we really look at what they did.

I asked a class, "When have you made sacrifices and left things behind, so that you could better follow the Savior?" A dark haired senior, the class president of that class, shared about deleting certain songs, even songs she liked, but knew were inappropriate. Then, a small, very quiet, blond haired girl raised her hand and said, "My friends. I left my friends in Richfield and came here hoping to find better friends."

Students then were each given a piece of paper and wrote down one thing that needed to be left behind so they could follow the Savior. My amazing and domestic wife totally made me a miniature fishing net for students to come and leave behind their worldly nets that might get them tangled up.

I know that His path is hard, but it's worth following. Let's volunteer to be better disciples by picking something from our lives that can be left behind.

2 comments:

Eric, Halcyon, Viana and Brooke said...

What a great quote by Elder Maxwell. Heavenly Father always gives us choices, and some of the choices we can not pass up.

Royfam said...

The best thing about volunteering to leave something and follow the Savior is that we ALWAYS end up with much more than we left behind. It's a cool deal!