Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Too often we hear discussion, debate, and even judgmental attitudes between churches about who are the true follower of Jesus. Often those issues involve the form of baptism, the style of worship, whether the Lord’s Table is every week or not, which spiritual gifts are still in play. And dozens of other practical and theological questions.
A lot of that can become smoke screen that distracts from the ultimate question. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Is there a core way to know whether you are or aren’t really one of His followers? What about you? Do you follow Jesus?
What does it take to become a follower of Jesus? Jesus gives a bottom line answer to this question in a single sentence. Let’s look at Jesus’ answer now.
Decide Whether You Want to Follow Jesus.
Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me…”
Following Jesus requires more than wishful thinking. It requires an intentional decision. Jesus invitation is open to any and all who want to respond. Many turn him down. They have other plans, other priorities or are too busy with better things to do. Those without better things to do show up and discover THERE IS NOTHING BETTER!
He won’t make you follow. He invites you to follow. However, to follow Him means leaving something behind.
Dethrone Yourself to Make Room for Jesus.
Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “… he must deny himself…”
Our natural desire is to be in charge of ourselves. We dream of being our own boss or so rich we don’t have to answer to a boss. We resist & resent others even suggesting we do something different than what we are doing at the moment.
Following Jesus requires releasing your need to control your life. It means letting Him lead! This requires faith that He sees and knows beyond what we can see & know. Faith that His work is not accidental. Faith that He doesn’t make mistakes. If you trust Him, trust that, then it is natural to follow His lead.
Decide to Follow Jesus’ Leadership Every Day in Every Part of Your Life.
Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “…and follow Me.”
Most of us like to lead when we have the chance. Following Jesus means letting Him lead. To Be Jesus’ Follower, You Must Let Him Lead! Actually continually personally follow Jesus leadership, direction, purpose & mission from now on.
BOTTOM LINE: If You Want to Follow Jesus… You Have to Follow Jesus!
Too many have a crisis of faith because Jesus didn’t follow their lead: When we get mad or quit because Jesus didn’t answer our prayer, hit our timeline, or work things out they way we hoped, that shows that we aren’t’ really following in that moment.
How you respond in those situations reveals whether you are following Him or whether you are hoping He will follow you. This is something we must resettle on a daily basis.
To catch the full lesson go to http://www.parkviewfamily.com. But before you leave give yourself a healthy gut check:
- Are you following Jesus?
- Where are you stiff-arming His leadership in your life?
- Do you want to follow Jesus?
- Will you decide to follow Jesus today?
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.