Monday, July 21, 2008

Following Jesus

What does following Jesus mean to you? It is a question that I think is worth asking often. It is a question I believe we must all wrestle and come to grips with our answer. For some, following Jesus can be viewed as "believing in God" or "believing that Jesus died on the cross." It is possible to view following Jesus as "going to church" or "reading the Bible" often or whenever you can. You see, a lot of people claim to be Christians, but how many of them are truly following Jesus?

If we really had to give an answer to what it means to follow Jesus, what would it be? This week I'm going to be posting my thoughts on Jesus and following him. I hope together we can learn and grow in our quest to truly become his disciples.

I believe that following Jesus goes well beyond a "belief" in Jesus or a prayer that we spoke at some point in our life. I believing following Jesus has to do with being "in him" - (John 15:5). Following Jesus goes beyond making him our belief system, and instead puts him at the center of all that we are. The Scriptures tell us that in Christ, we are new creations, the old is gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Simply stated: in Jesus, the old us is dead and Jesus gives new meaning and definition to our life. Jesus said, "If you hold to my teachings, then you are really my disciples" (John 8:31).

Our lives are to be wrapped up in his life. We are to surrender our complete will over to him. We are called to love, forgive, show compassion, mercy, grace, and kindness from his strength, not ours. In him, we begin to live lives of gratitude and purpose. Perhaps following Jesus isn't as hard as we've often made it. It simply requires us to surrender everything about ourselves to him. Following Jesus isn't copying Jesus' actions, it is finding ourselves "in him." As John the Baptist put it, "He must become greater, I must become less" (John 3:30).

Take time today to think about how you can surrender your life and will in order to live "in him."

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