Following Jesus

Last summer, our precious grand-daughter, Emma, decided to go fishing. She went alone. She tried and tried. She was … patient. She finally used the right bait. Emma caught her first fish – it was little and a ‘throw back’ but her first fish!!! She will never forget it! She was so excited she talked about it for days.
Just last week, Emma caught a 14” trout. We didn’t get a picture but she, once again, was thrilled. The fight was fun and the prize was worth it!!! This is a “Jesus picture” of what He meant to be our life’s-joy . . . following Him and allowing Him to make us “Fisher’s of Men!”

Following Jesus is at the core of Missional Living

“Follow”: to get behind; to get in back of; to be in the same way; going in the same way; signifying a likeness, companion or union.
To follow someone means not taking the initiative, not suggesting a certain path and not challenging the direction you’re going.

1. To follow Jesus means reaching out to people! Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

2. To follow Jesus means discarding dead ways. Matthew 8:22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

3. To follow Jesus means not hesitating. Matthew 9:9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. John 1:43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

4. To follow Jesus means to deny yourself. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

5. To follow Jesus means to let go of materialism. Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

6. To follow Jesus means to listen. John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

7. To follow Jesus means to sacrificially serve Him. John 12:25-26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
Service means sacrifice!!! By the death of personal desire and personal ambition a man becomes a servant of God. Only by spending your life do you keep it!!

LOYALTY is what Jesus is talking about!!! We have only to think of what this world would have lost if there had not been men prepared to forget their personal safety, security, selfish gain and selfish advancement. The world owes everything to people who recklessly spent their strength and gave themselves to God and to others. No doubt we will exist longer if we take things easily, if we avoid all strain, if we sit at the fire and enjoy life, if we look after ourselves as a hypochondriac looks after his health. No doubt we will exist longer–but we will never live.

Playing it safe is not a part of being a follower! Being a follower is risky business! It means loyal service to our Master no matter what He asks or where He leads!!

8. To follow Jesus means to follow Him without getting distracted by other things or other people! John 21:15-22 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

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