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Following Christ

When I was a child I loved to follow the leader as it was a game and fun to copy whatever the leader did. Since then Iíve grown into an adult and struggling to build my life around the person I admire most. While following the leader was a game I learned several things from it that I can apply to my walk with Jesus Christ.

Everyone wants to be the leader so choosing a leader was not the problem.  It was choosing someone who wouldnít get you hurt or into trouble with your parents. It may have been a game but following the leader had to be simple and easy to do and what we may call a no brainer.

The first thing I learned was to keep my eye and ears on the leader so I could easily do in harmony exactly what he was doing. What this meant was there had to be some sort of understanding of what the leader was doing to know what I was supposed to do.

It meant that I had to develop a commitment on my part to copy and repeat what the leader was doing. Sometimes that was hard to do as I had no fore knowledge of the direction the leader was taking. Keeping up with the leader was not as easy as you thought because when you didnít follow the leader exactly you fumbled everything to correct your mistake.

In applying this passage to the Christian walk choosing Jesus Christ to follow as your lord makes sense.  Jesus has already overcome the world through his reverent submission to the one who could save him from death. On the night before he died for our sins he said,

Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven so we may live with him and the Father throughout eternity. In addition I considered it to be  reasonable logic to follow him because he said I am the way the truth and the life (John 14:6).

Jesus set the example to follow through his love for mankind, his devotion to his father and his desire to serve the needs of both God and man. To develop these attributes demanded that I observe his every move and allow him to set and guide my course in life. The first step I did was to accept his authority as Lord and Savior. What I meant by accepting the leadership of Jesus Christ is to do everything he commands in following him.

 Following Christ as Lord, demands that we agree and comply with his instructions. Christís love demands obedience in accordance with the commands and will of God. Godís words may restrict our actions but seeking the reasoning behind his commands makes his commands easier to adopt Godís love, his way of life while stimulating us to imitate him of our free will.  

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

Anyone who chooses to follow Christ must live a life serving one another that is to honors others above your own needs. The cross you bear is the race and calling God has set before you. In this passage Jesus compared the denying of self to following another way of life that leads to the loss of your eternal soul.

Sheep never follows a stranger but knows the shepherd that cares for them. The Shepherd leads the way to safe pasture and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. The sheep know his voice because they are constantly in his presence as he watches over them. Jesus said follow me I have come that you may have a full and abundant life. He protects his sheep from wild animals, and the enemy of Christ who comes to steal kill and destroy.

Jesus warned us not to follow strangers especially those who do not know him because you may perish with the stranger. The strangers of this world define life without a need for the God who gives life. Their definition does not include the real importance of life that comes with knowing and following the creator of life.  

The man who follows his own way to glory will receive his wages of sin as an obligation. On the other hand whoever follows Jesus because they trust him are given the gift of life. Letís remember the gift of life is surrounded by the holiness of God and the promised life and the love of our creator. Because of these things following Jesus is a cherished commitment that will last forever for it is an eternal gift of life.

Following Jesus is not a game but is a way of life we should take to heart. The consequences are too great to pass up or ignore. We will never know the magnitude of Godís gift until we follow our Lord down the streets of Glory. Even then, habitually following Jesus will lead us into the wonders of a new world made especially for the display of Godís glory.

His mercies are new every Morning and every day we follow him becomes better.  Everyone who follows Jesus has no regret; rather they may wish they started following sooner. We keep our eye on a shepherd that cares for our every need, he relieves our stress of life, redeems us from the world of sin and makes life worth living for the right reasons.

In the beginning passage some followed Paul, Appolis and Peter, while others followed Jesus Christ. We all follow someone we can see the problem is where are they going? We know where Jesus is because he is already there and is preparing a place for us. We have a choice to make in whom to follow because we want to arrive in Heaven welcomed into the arms of our Lord. 4/22/2014

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