Are You Fit for the Kingdom? Part 3of4, Pastor Phil Sessa

Luke 9:62 , “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Have you ever taken a fitness test? I can remember in school having to do a certain amount of push-ups, sit-ups, and various other exercises as part of testing to see if I was physically fit or not. Obviously all people are not physically fit, and in light of this all, are not spiritually fit either. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy these words, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The Apostle was not saying that physical fitness had NO value, but rather it did not have the same value as godliness (spiritual fitness).

Jesus is approached by one that said to Him, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Like the man that wanted to first go and bury his father to which Jesus replied “Let the dead bury the dead but you go and preach the Kingdom of God,” this man desired also to go to say goodbye to his family. This seemed to be like a reasonable request as well, and respectable in nature. However, Jesus replied again in an unexpected manner. Jesus gives an analogy about plowing, and looking back as seemingly disqualifying someone from the Kingdom. This is until one knows the key word in that verse for “fit,” which in the Greek is euthetos which means “ready for use.” Lot’s family was told not to look back and Lot’s wife chose to look back and she turned into a pillar of salt. Jesus said, “…no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! Why would Jesus tell this man not to even look back?

1. When one looks back, one cannot look forward. Jesus was looking for mission minded people, not mountainous minded people along for the ride who just desired to maintain the status quo. Some people follow as long as it doesn’t cost them anything, as long as it doesn’t “rock the boat,” of the nice little world one has built for oneself. Mission minded people are engaged in the mission at hand, and will pay the cost, rock the boat, all of which will create a ripple effect in the lives of those closest to them. Some of those people may not appreciate this, yet Jesus still calls us to the mission of following Him

2. When Christ calls us to work, He expects work. If you’ve ever been hired to work at a job, the boss doesn’t appreciate lazy employees. Laziness doesn’t advance his business, and laziness doesn’t advance God’s Kingdom. Jesus said to the disciples, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” The key is follow, when Christ moves forward as the leader, His followers MUST follow.

3. When one looks back one is not ready for use. As a light bulb was made to shine light, so too was the Christian made to shine the light of Christ. What would happen if a light bulb could somehow unscrew itself so that it was not connected to the socket? It would not be connected to the source that it needs to do its job, shine! When one looks back to the world one is unfit, not ready for use, disconnected to his or her purpose. Don’t look back, and definitely don’t go back. Stay focused, ready for the Master’s use, with your hand to the plow. Remember the harvest is plenty but the workers are few.

Until the nets are filled…Blessings Pastor Phil <><

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