And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!” John 21:12.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
To receive My promises and have a life of blessing and increase, you must be diligent in your pursuit of them.
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12.
Diligent in Greek is the word spoudé (σπουδή), which means haste, diligence. A speedy and earnest response to My commands, a diligent keeping of My Word with enthusiasm. The words you see translated as diligence in Hebrew are usually a variation of “shama (שָׁמַע),” which means to hear, to listen attentively, and to obey, or “shamar (שָׁמַר),” which means to guard, keep, watch, and preserve.
Diligence is about enthusiasm and love for My Word, which is love for Me for I am My Word, John 1:1, but it is also about endurance. It is keeping your stand until the end. Never giving in or giving up. It is the lifestyle of an overcomer, but it is also the lifestyle of a disciple.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:35-36.
And it is the same with receiving of the body and blood of My Son, you must be diligent to keep this and to remember what you have in Jesus. The Passover seder was instituted so that the Israelites would never forget their redemption and their covenant with Me. So they would keep My goodness, My care, My provision, and My great power towards them in mind and thus access it continually. Do not forget ALL your benefits.
“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your children and your grandchildren.” Deuteronomy 4:9.
Jesus has called you to be His disciples. And what does that mean? Look at how I define it, for in this age I speak to you through My Son.
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32.
You continue, remain, abide, dwell in My Word. This is the same word that is translated “abide” when Jesus explains that your relationship in being a disciple and bearing much fruit is like a branch abiding in the vine. That means you listen to it, read it, speak it, make it your mindset, and obey it. Not a hearer only but a hearer and a doer.
Disciples bear fruit. Much fruit. And that was the first words I said the first man and woman when I created them. A blessing to bear much fruit. And I reaffirmed that blessing with Abraham and promised it to him and his descendants by oath:
For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless (in blessing I shall bless you) you and I will surely multiply you (in increasing I shall increase you).” Hebrews 6:13-14.
When Jesus directed you to partake of His body and blood in remembrance of Him He meant to never forget all that is yours through His life, death, and resurrection so that you will not fear but constantly draw on all the good you have in your account—every spiritual blessing in Heaven is ready for you to take in Christ Jesus.
He also meant to never forget your call to follow Him as His body taking direction from your Head. A disciple.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Matthew 26:26.
And let us return to our Eucharistic journey where we left off in our last Life Lesson on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after Jesus had served the disciples breakfast as He continues to talk with Peter. He has already assigned him to shepherd His sheep, and now there is more. The call to be faithful as His disciple to the end.
Jesus said to Peter, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” Jesus was signifying by what kind of death Peter would glorify Me when he finished the work I gave him to do. He was put to death at an old age for preaching the good news of Jesus. He had followed Jesus in life and then he followed him to death. And when Jesus had spoken this to Peter, He said to him, “Follow Me!”
Peter was not to return to his old life of being a fisherman to support himself by the sweat of his brow on the Sea of Galilee. He was to go forth in My provision, direction, and protection to preach the Gospel to the world, starting in Jerusalem, through Judea, on to Samaria, and out to all the nations. He was the first one to bring gentile believers into the body of Christ when I sent him to the home of Cornelius.
But you must understand something else here. I gave Peter his heart’s desire. He always regretted that he had not fulfilled what he promised so vehemently at the Last Supper to Jesus. Do you recall what he promised?
But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Mark 14:31.
Instead he denied Jesus three times. It was his desire to rectify that and make it a truthful statement. That is why he was so happily resting in a sound sleep in prison the night before Herod had sentenced him to die for his witness to Jesus. He thought he would fulfill his promise to Me. But I had other plans and sent My angel to take him out to continue the ministry that I had given him to do, which was vital as the leader of the first community of believers.
But when his assignment was done and he passed on the torch to the generation of believers he had led, he knew it was the time for his reward and that I would give him the desire of his heart.
Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind. 2 Peter 1:12-15.
A well merited crown awaited him, the crown of the faithful shepherd who walked with Me in love and longed for My coming.
Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Diligent in your calling to follow Me.
If out of weakness you did not perform as you promised or as I directed you, do not worry, when your heart is right I always give you a second chance (or a third, fourth, fifth chance, and so on). And then there will be the thousand year reign of Christ from David’s throne where you can live out your dreams that you missed and gave up.
But Peter, at the time Jesus spoke this word of wisdom to him, was not yet perfect in agape love. He was still looking at his lot in relation to others. Remember while Jesus was with them, before they were born again and received the Holy Spirit, the disciples would argue among themselves as to who was the greatest and who would qualify for the seat at His right hand in the Kingdom.
Peter had his eye on John, the one who called himself the “beloved disciple.”
So Peter, turning around, taking his eyes off Jesus, which was his mistake when he went to Jesus walking on the water, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that John would not die; yet Jesus did not say to Peter that John would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”
And I want you each to take this to heart. I have made you unique. No one else has your fingerprints, your voice, the same color in the iris in their eye, your DNA, or your assignment. You do not need to look at anyone else to compare their assignment to yours. They do not have the same assignment or the same characteristics as you. You need to keep your eyes fixed on Me and let Me guide you with My eye. To follow Me you must stay focused on Me as your primary source and inspiration. There is no reason for further delay, start today. Guard your heart with all diligence and keep focused on Me.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2.
Follow Me and not another, unless I so direct. For I have given you some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until you all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of My Son, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13.
And the call is for all, but My eye is on you! Are your eyes on Me or on others? I am your audience of one, and the only one that really matters for eternity. I am the one with whom you have to do and all is open and bare to My eyes. But always remember, My eyes are loving eyes upon you and in them is the flame of the fire of love. Let Me light your lamp with My love so it is the flame in your eyes too. Let us set the world on fire with My love.
I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! Luke 12:49.
Let the burning bush that was not harmed or consumed where Moses heard My voice of deliverance and freedom from slavery be your beacon light of the call to come and follow Me as well. And how will you do so great a mission? Just like I told Moses, “I AM with you.” And nothing is too wonderful for Me. And when you are with Me, for you either. Keep your eyes on Me.
I love you. Remember that every time you partake of My Son’s body and blood His heart joins as one with your heart.
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:12-13.