Posted by: glorifyhim1 | August 3, 2016

“Follow Me!”

“Follow Me!”

One of my favorite games as a child was Follow the Leader. It was especially fun when there was a large group of kids. As the line grew longer, it became nearly impossible to see what the leader was doing. Then, the game essentially became follow the guy in front of you with quite a variety of interpretations as to what the leader was doing. It was fun to play, fun to watch, but it wasn’t always easy to follow the real leader.

Interestingly, Jesus had a good bit to say about following and He repeatedly instructed His disciples and early followers to follow Him. Consider the following verses.

 “’Follow Me,” Jesus told them (Simon and Andrew), ‘and I will make you fish for people!’” (Matthew 4:19).

“They (James and John) were in a boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him” (Matthew 4:21b-22).

“Jesus found Philip and told him, ‘Follow Me!’” (John 1:43b).

“Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi (Matthew) sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’” (Luke 5:27).

“He (Jesus) told him (the rich young ruler), ‘You still lack one thing: Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me’” (Luke 18:22).

“He (Jesus) said this to (Peter) to signify by what kind of death he would glorify God. After saying this, He told him, ‘Follow Me!’” (John 21:19).

“Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).

“If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34).

Unlike my childhood game of Follow the Leader, following Jesus is not just a game we play. The above Scriptures point out that following Jesus is serious business. It demands both unwavering commitment and daily sacrifice as we deny ourselves and follow Him. This means we look to Him and His Word to guide us and give us direction in every area of life – not just when we’re in trouble, afraid, or worried, but also when it would be easier to give in, give up, and just follow the ways of the world. Following Jesus will not make us fit in, but stand out. Yet Jesus demands our total, complete commitment to Him.

Also unlike my childhood game, we cannot be satisfied following the guy in front of us. Surely, there are other believers who can come along side of us and help us, but just like us, they make mistakes, too. We all mess up, make mistakes, and sin. There is only One we can truly follow and Jesus says: “Follow Me!”

I also remember those game leaders who would make it difficult for others to follow them. They might do a hand stand or some other nearly impossible feat for the rest of us to copy. Jesus, however, sincerely wants us to follow Him. Surely, we live in a broken and fallen world and we are going to face difficulties in this world, but Jesus is our light. Through His Word and His Spirit within us, He will lead us, guide us, help us, comfort, and strengthen us and walk with us through whatever situations we face. As we follow Him, we will “hear” Him more clearly as He leads us as a shepherd leads his sheep.

Another interesting thing about that childhood game is that there really wasn’t any purpose other than following the leader. But notice that when Jesus invited His first disciples, he told them: “I will make you fish for people.” Jesus doesn’t tell us to listen to Him and follow Him just because He wants to be our leader. Jesus came to save us, to give us life. As He said Himself: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke19:10), and, also, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10b). As Jesus saves us and we follow Him, His purpose becomes our purpose. Just as He told the early disciples, He would make them fish for people, He wants us, too, to bring others to Him. He calls us to do that in different ways as each of us follow Jesus.

As a child, I would sometimes get tired of playing Follow the Leader and I would just drop out and quit. The sad thing is I can do that with following Jesus, too. Following Jesus is not a one-time decision. It is a commitment that we must make every day as we do life. Do I seek Him and follow Him, or do I give in to the pressures around me? I want to follow Jesus more and more! I hope you do, too!

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