“From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, ‘Will you also go away’?”

John 6:66-67

     If He’s not your Treasure (II Cor. 4:7), you’ll always be tempted to doubt and desert.

     It’s easy to be brave in basic training when no bullets are whizzing overhead and no bombs or missiles are landing nearby.  But, such bravado soon evaporates as the morning dew when the pressure’s on and the “fiery furnaces” of trouble and tribulation are getting hotter by the minute.
     We should not be surprised that the report of “many of Jesus’ disciples going back and not walking with Him anymore” is found in Jn. 6:66.  The “mark of the beast” finds expression in many situations and generations even now.
     What started out as a joyous journey on the “Glory Train to Heaven” will soon seem like Dante’s “Descent Into Hell” unless we respond the way Peter did:  “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:67).
     Yes, dashed dreams on the hard rocks of reality have a way of derailing shallow dreams rooted in the flesh.  They also have a way of eroding commitment and causing one to settle for less than God’s Best.  Sadly, like Demas and the rich young ruler, many have “forsaken the Lord, having loved this present world” more than they did the Prince of Glory (II Tim. 4:10; Mt. 19:16-22).
     The cost was too great.  The catcalls and scornful words were too hard to bear.  Fear of others was greater than their fear of God.

     So, their “shallow-soil joy evaporated in the hot sun of persecution” (Mt. 13:20-21).  Here today, gone tomorrow.  Why is that?  “Because they had no root” (Mt. 13:21a).
     Oh, dear Pilgrim, the “Race of Faith” is a marathon, not a sprint.  It’s not for the faint-hearted; it’s for the faithful of heart—those who are “sold out to the Savior” and deem His Smile greater Treasure than all the gold and glory the world has to offer.
     Hear even now the Savior asking again:

     “Will you also go away?  Will you cease ‘fighting the good fight and running the Race that’s set before you with patience by abandoning your faith’ (II Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1)?  Or, will you recommit yourself to My Call and Commission by saying ‘Here am I, Lord; send/use me’” (Is. 6:8)?
     Again, our decision determines our direction and destiny.

     Following Christ means following Christ. . .being “yoked with Him” (Mt. 11:28-30). . . yielding our lives to Him daily “as a living sacrifice by refusing to be conformed to the world, but transformed in our mind instead” (Rom. 12:1-2).  Look around you, Pilgrim:  “The fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are few” (Jn. 4:35; Lk. 10:2).  Recommit your life to the Master today in complete surrender; then go out and get busy—for many souls hang in the balances of eternity.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 29, 2010

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