This morning my husband and 16 year old daughter had the privilege of hearing Steve Lawson preach a sermon that covered Luke 14:25-35, which is about counting the cost of being a disciple of Christ. I was stuck in bed with a really bad head cold and congestion, so even though I could not hear Mr. Lawson preach in person, I was able to hear the sermon due to live streaming (Praise God for technology)
Mr. Lawson, as usual, unpacked the verses in Luke with wonderfully sound convicting depth but towards the end of his sermon, he closed with what seemed like string of poetical statements that clearly and succinctly declared what it means for someone to live a life dedicated to Christ. I wondered if they came from Mr. Lawson himself or someone else so I went to work to figure out where those beautiful words came from.
I remembered a few of those lines so I just typed them into a Google search. (again…praise God for technology)
I learned that the words came from a poem called the Fellowship of the Unashamed. The author is unknown but there are a few possible sources:
Source #1: Dr. Robert Morehead tells the story a young man from Rwanda, A missionary with Africa Evangelical Fellowship, who was forced by his tribe in 1980 to renounce Christ or face death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was murdered on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room.
Source #2 : The following is often attributed to an anonymous source but its origin can be traced to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) retreat in Black Mountain, NC in 1966. This confession, ostensibly authored by several attendees, found wider circulation after it was found in the home of an African pastor who had been martyred for his commitment to Christ some years ago.
Regardless of where these words came from, they resonated deeply with my soul and are such a reminder that when we are called to follow Christ, we give up much…..but what we get in return does not compare….namely Christ himself.
When we have Christ and the Holy Spirit residing in our soul, we can endure all circumstances and situations with confidence.
My prayer for my kids has always been that they love Christ more than they love me. And because I love Christ more than my children, I pray that I love them well enough to lead them to my ONLY source of real deep eternal lasting love – Christ himself.
I pray that all who profess Christ, intentionally seek to live out these words in any way, shape, or form. Living a life of Christ-following intentionality does not occur by accident or happenstance. We must pursue it. Eagerly and with conviction. This poem reflects these very sentiments.
Without further adieu…
I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
The die has been cast.
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.
I won’t give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.
I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes.
And when He comes, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ” – Romans 1:16