Have you ever bought into someone offering you a new theory or quick fix? They profess that if you believe and follow their plans, you can experience their suggested results. Unfortunately, some of us follow them blindly only to discover their theories or promises are deceptive, unsustainable, and even harmful.
These same principals apply to the person we choose to follow as our spiritual and moral foundation.
Do you know the character, morals, values, and life of this person?
Will your choice to follow this person end in rising above your life’s challenges?
Will you find love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control?
Do you have access to them at all times even when you mess up?
Will following them ensure you will live in heaven for eternity?
If your choice to follow someone does not bring you these blessings I invite you to evaluate what it means to believe and follow a person. The dictionaries definition of the word follow is to:
- go along the route
- take the same direction
- obey something
- do the same as somebody
- engage in activity
- accompany somebody
The various Greek definitions of the word follow include: accompany, assist, and attend. At the root of all these definitions of the word ‘follow’ is: to have someone to walk with actively. The only person or persons who have perfect morals, character, and provide an eternal heavenly future, are God the Father and Jesus Christ. In fact, the whole life of Jesus shows us how to follow, or walk with, God the Father.
However, Jesus made it even more personal for us. Jesus began his ministry by personally asking his disciples to come and follow him,’ as an invitation to learn. He spent three years teaching his disciples and anyone who would listen about the love, grace, and forgiveness available to all who believe Jesus is the Son of God. Following Jesus turned into a personal transforming relationship. As his followers grew in his love and understanding of God, their inward transformation took place. Over time their outward behavior also began to mirror Jesus through preaching and healing.
Right before Jesus ascended to heaven, he left his disciples with the big picture of how it looks to follow him. The disciples were all gathered at the mountain. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
Even though Jesus would no longer be with them or us in a physical body, Jesus tells his followers to continue doing and teaching what he taught them. Jesus also confirms his desire and design to remain in a personal relationship with them and us now and to the end of the age. To truly follow Jesus is an opportunity to continually grow into the likeness of Christ on earth and into eternity.
The word Christian means: to be a Christ follower or to be his disciple. When you proclaim, you are a Christian; you are saying you are partnering with Jesus and letting him reign in every aspect of your life. You will do your best to mirror his life, but you will not get it right all the time in your imperfect state. Jesus was patient with his followers in their imperfectness, and he is patient with yours. Jesus is most concerned with your heart, not your perfection. Following Jesus means when you fall, you will fall forward, into his arms and let him help you up. It means you are walking in the righteousness, grace, love, and power of Jesus. It means you have the mind of Christ and like him, you can overcome.
Following Jesus is an honor and a privilege. It is our way to show our Lord and King how much we love and appreciate his willingness to pay the penalty of our sins and die for us.
What does it mean to you to follow Jesus?