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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

The challenge of staying true to Christ

Apr 28, 2024 12:00PM ● By Patrick Ralston

A young man from the community corrections program attending our ministry meetings recently asked me about the personal challenges he might face once he’s released from the program. 

My short answer: “Continuing to live with a passion for Christ.”  

This advice is rooted in the observation that many men often stray from their newfound freedom in Christ after their release from the ComCor program. Success outside the program is often achieved by those who deepen their devotion to Christ, consistently seeking connection with Him through prayer and Scripture and by choosing the company of Godly people. They are the ones who deliberately submit to God’s will, striving to become the mighty husbands, fathers and brothers they have been called to be.  

Men who struggle with transitioning back into society are guilty of self-governance in the absence of God. They succumb to the human nature of their flesh, reverting to past behaviors and poor decisions. At the first sign of hardship, they will most likely abandon their pursuit of God and yield to worldly temptations.

It’s especially disheartening to see devout Christians, once zealous in their faith, become lukewarm in their commitment to Christ. Their initial fiery passion dims as they increasingly put worldly pursuits ahead of their devotion to Him. 

Being a follower of Jesus to the degree that he expects takes discipline, but once we fully surrender, the passion for Christ becomes ingrained in our soul, body and spirit.

The apathetic Christian reminds me of the three men in Luke 9 who expressed a desire to follow Jesus, only to hesitate when he made clear the full extent of commitment and sacrifice required. As they journeyed, one man proclaimed, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus invited him, but he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus responded, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another declared, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57-62).

Following Jesus should be your highest priority—above your marriage, family, work and all else. He has assigned to us a horse-drawn plow to till the land that has been assigned to every Christian. This work is challenging and demanding, but it leads to fulfilling results when we keep our focus on the path ahead.

To partake in the harvest, we must first sow the seeds; to sow the seeds, we must first prepare the soil by plowing. And when all the hard work is completed and the harvest is finally reaped, those who toiled—plowing, planting and harvesting—will be honored guests at the marriage feast of the Lamb.