Following Jesus is really an all or nothing thing. In the book of Revelation the lukewarm church got a rebuke from the Lord.
The first requirement in today’s reading is that we acknowledge the Lord before men. I remember the biggest bully at school coming up to me, poking me in the chest and saying “you follow Jesus don’t you?” I remember gulping and saying “Yes I do.” He replied “I really respect you” and walked away. It won’t always work out that way – Jesus warns us, we will be persecuted. But we must never deny our faith – allow the Holy Spirit to give you the words to say as He promises (Luke 12:12).
Secondly our love for God needs to exceed even our greatest love for others. Jesus looked at one of the other churches in Revelation and saw a group who were working hard serving him but had grown cold in their love for Him. That got a rebuke too. Ask the Lord for more love – Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:14-19 that we would know the breadth, length, height and depth of God’s love so we could be filled with all the fullness of God. Make that your prayer today!
Thirdly nothing we do for the Lord in His strength and love is wasted. Even a cup of water given. Prayer, switching off social media to study the Bible, serving, leading, ringing up someone who is struggling, visiting the lonely. Nothing is wasted. The Lord sees it and will reward you. Nicky Gumbel tells the story of Martin of Tours (AD 316–397) Bishop of Tours, France, from AD 371. “One very cold night, riding on horseback, he passed a beggar. Martin got off his horse, tore his robe in two and gave half of it to the beggar. That night, Martin had a dream in which he saw Jesus wearing the robe that had been torn in two on his shoulders. When asked where it had come from, Jesus replied, ‘My servant Martin gave it to me.'”
The result – Jesus saw the blind receiving sight, the lame walking, lepers cleansed, the deaf hearing and the dead raised and the poor hearing good news. We are commissioned to do likewise as we follow Him, love Him and keep on getting filled with His Spirit.