AM I WORTHY?
Worthy is defined as having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way; deserving effort, attention, or respect; good enough; suitable. When I consider one who is worthy, my first thought is always Christ. The four creatures, the elders, the angels and the myriads in heaven (Rev. 5:9-14) praise the Lord loudly with the proclamation that He alone is worthy. Indeed, He is! Worthy to open the seals of the scroll because He had ransomed people for God by the blood He shed. Worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory and blessing forever because He had died for the sins of man. He is worthy of all our praise and adoration.
But are we worthy of Him? Not all of us are, and not any of us some time. In Matt. 10:37-39, Jesus declares three ways in which people are not worthy of Him. “Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of Me.”
At first glance, such a strong warning may seem too harsh, it isn’t. It’s the truth. The Lord is not saying we must hate our families and live life with excruciating suffering in order to be His disciples. Rather, He is helping us to order our life’s priorities. We must love others, certainly those of our own families (Matt. 23:39; 1 Tim. 5:8). But our love, devotion and service to the Lord must come before all other people and things. The cost of being a disciple is high, and we must “count” it before we sign on for duty. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57-62) “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Matt. 14:25-33).
Paul is a great example for us in this matter. He counted “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:7-11).
What are we willing to “give up” in order to follow Christ? Things that are precious, powerful, popular, impressive to others, comfortable, convenient, familiar, etc., must not ever be so prized that we cannot give them up in order to obey the Lord. The ruler who approached Jesus with a sincere question regarding what he needed to do to inherit eternal life quoted the commandments and affirmed he had kept them since his youth (Luke 18:18-30). Jesus pointedly told him he lacked one thing: Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” The man was sad because he was rich. We are like this man when we struggle with things that are valuable to us, yet they hinder us from following Christ.
What is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his soul, or what shall a man give in return for his soul (Matt. 16:26)? To be acceptable, recognizable, suitable and good enough for the Lord, we have to give up everything for Him. Will we? Have we? Like Paul, let us count all things as loss (refuse, garbage) for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus.