I have been reading through this morning the story of Samuel. Do you remember his sons Joel and Abijah? Probably not. They are only mentioned in a few short verses. Joel was the eldest and Abijah the second born. They were judges in Beer-sheba but they did not walk in the ways of their father. The turned toward dishonest gain, they took bribes and, worst of all, they perverted justice. They were so unlike their father that they basically disappeared from the scene and were relegated to Israeli historical irrelevancy. (1 Samuel 8:1-3)
Dad (Samuel) was a great guy. One of the greatest prophets/judges that ever lived. He was a man after God’s heart. When the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel due to the sins of Eli and his two inept and corrupt sons, God still visited and spoke to Israel through Samuel.
Joel and Abijah, Samuel's sons, were raised in a good home. They were trained and appointed as judges by their father, the prophet. But they were just bad.
What went wrong?
Here is a truth. Our successes today in no way guarantee success for tomorrow. Our successes as individuals in no way guarantees success for our families. And the scary part is that our faithfulness today doesn’t guarantee faithfulness tomorrow as well. Our walk with God through Christ empowered by His Spirit is at best a day to day proposition of denying our self, taking up our cross and choosing to follow Him.
Jesus never said, “Don’t count the cost to follow”. Conversely, He always reminded those listening that it is extremely and always costly to follow Him.
I pray that we, as followers of Christ, be ones who always daily looks to Jesus for our marching orders and willingly count the cost, take up the cross and follow Him daily.