Friday, February 27, 2015
The Commands of Jesus: Follow Me
As a guy, I don't like to stop and ask for directions when I'm lost. I'd rather figure things out on my own. That usually takes a little time. More time than my wife is willing to spend, should she be in the car with me.
"Why don't you stop at a gas station!" she'll ask.
I usually reply with something like this. "I know exactly where I'm going. Right over there (points at some unseen destination) . . . Be patient. It's right over the next hill . . . somewhere . . ."
The modern day GPS unit has taken all the fun out of dead-reckoning driving. It (usually) takes you right where you want to go. But driving by the seat of my pants always gets me to where I'm going. It just takes a little longer. And we get to see new things along the way that we wouldn't otherwise have gotten to see! The truth is though, if I would stop and ask directions from someone who knew the way, I would arrive at my destination a WHOLE lot quicker.
When Jesus was calling his disciples he didn't ask them if they would like to come with Him. He told them!"
"18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” - Matthew 4:18-19
Guess what they did. They obeyed his command. IMMEDIATELY! Verse 20
"20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him." - Matthew 4:20
The Greek words used in this text are "deute opiso mou" which means "come after me", or basically, follow me. But what strikes me most about verse 20 is that they IMMEDIATELY followed Jesus. How many of us can say we dropped everything and followed Jesus when we first came to believe?
Although Jesus was specifically calling his disciples at the time, He really is calling us too. And if you combine this command to follow with the first command Jesus gave us - to repent or "turn around" - it's rather easy to see what Jesus is asking us . . . no . . . telling, us to do. Turn around and come after Him. Repent and follow.
Have you repented and followed Jesus? That's a MAJOR question in the life of a Christian. We are commanded to do this. It's not a half-way thing. If we have not repented . . . if we are not following Jesus in the way we live our lives and in our hearts, then we cannot call ourselves Christians. There is no "half-way" with Jesus. It's all or nothing.
Look, we are all sinners. Yet we all tend to wander off the path once in a while. Okay, DAILY! We're just like a bunch of sheep in need of a shepherd. Jesus IS that shepherd. We need to be FOLLOWING His voice, not our own or anyone else's. We are called to Repent and Follow.
"3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." - Luke 15:3-7
What Keeps You From Following God? - The Skit Guys