Friday, July 24, 2009

Following the Lord

Following the Lord is not an easy task because we must not follow our hearts but His.......

"If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26

The most difficult and challenging aspect of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is the human heart because this is the spiritual battlefield. It is here where the ultimate decision is made as to whether or not one becomes a Believer and Follower of the Christ. Jesus encountered a very wealthy young man who made the decision that it was simply too difficult to leave his world and to enter another.

Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." Mark 10:21

The simplicity of following Christ is really the difficult challenge and that is to deny that which is comfortable and to do that which is unfamiliar and often times uncomfortable. When I hear people say to me that they do not believe that they could do this or do that when the Lord is calling them, the words of Jesus calling for the Believer to deny self always come to mind.

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34

We often hear the challenge of the Great Commission, but far too often fail to respond. My observation is that most of those who claim to be Believers have yet to follow Him because if we are following Him we will become what He wants us to become….
And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." Mark 1:17

And the Believer will follow the Lord where and when He wants him to go. The first Disciples of the Christ were fishermen who, without question, immediately left their nets and followed Him. Matthew, the tax collector, immediately left his source of income to follow the Christ. There was no complaint or excuse. They simply followed.

For our excuses, Jesus gives us these words of advice…..And He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God." Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home." But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:59-62.

Believers will not look back and return to what once was, they will remain at the task. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me…” John 10:27

Many who want to be followers of the Christ, at least in their minds, want to garner recognition for themselves. They seek honor at the church house, at work, at play, among friends and family. But if what they seek is for themselves, following Christ is not in their heart.

"And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:38

One more statement must be made about the here and now, the reward for the Believer is not right now, but later.

Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered, "Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later." John 13:36

Jesus is Lord

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