Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Follow Me ~ by Amy Vest

"Follow Me."  These words from Jesus have been a theme for me over the past months.  I can say with great confidence that there is no other path worth walking.

Every step taken with Jesus, in Jesus, and for Jesus leads us to more of Him and His matchless will for our lives.

In following Jesus, we find our life.

Listen to the words of Jesus,
"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?"  Matthew 16:24-26

We answer the call to lose our life, find it in Jesus, and follow Him at salvation - and then follow Him as His own every moment of our life from that point on. 

It is the greatest journey.

When we follow other people, our hearts, etc. we are always going to be led astray.

This verse speaks the reality so richly: 
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

And Jesus says of Himself, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:16)

When we are following Jesus, we are on the right way - for He IS the Way!

There is no one I would rather follow.

This has been a season of looking to Jesus for His will in a variety of areas in my life.  As I seek Him in surrender - praying, "Jesus, You and Your will are all I want!" - the answer keeps coming, "Follow Me."  I am seeing afresh the sweetness of step-by-step, moment-by-moment fellowship with, listening to, and following in obedience to Jesus.  It is priceless how in this, He reveals His will in His perfect timing, knowing just what I need when.  Best of all, in the process He is giving me what I need and want most - more of HIM!

I love how this brings such a deepening in our personal walk with Jesus, instead of getting focused on a plan of action.  It is about following Jesus and His Word, a relationship with Him, and living from that vs. following a plan.  Yes, He reveals a plan of action and calls us to act, but when we are following HIM, we see that the relationship is most important and that it is about JESUS, by His strength alone, and for His glory.

We are called to follow Him and He will lead, shape us, and give us grace for every step.  I love how when Jesus called the disciples, He said, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)  He didn't say, "Become fishers of men, and then follow Me."  He said, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." 

Over and over again we see that He wants our hearts more than our hands, and a relationship more than our plans.  When the heart and relationship is in place, the rest will flow and be beautiful because it is JESUS!  Otherwise, it is of little to no eternal value.  "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

This Sunday I slipped into a pew before service wanting some time with Jesus.  I opened my Bible to the text the sermon would be on and began to read.  In the Lord's sweet plan, the text included these words, "...he said to him, “Follow me." (Mark 2:14) 

As I sat in the pew with my Bible in my lap, a dear older man walked by and said with a twinkle in his eye, "It's a good Book, by the way."  I smiled back and said, "The BEST!"

Isn't this just so beautiful?

Jesus calls us to follow Him,
He tells us how in His Word - the Bible,
He applies His Word to our heart and life by His Spirit,
and He enables us to follow in obedience by His grace.

As we follow, we receive more of Jesus and are led into His will, resulting in our joy, His glory, and blessing to others.

This is the life we were created for and to which Jesus calls us!

My friend, the best place to be is with Jesus in the center of His will.  Don't settle for lesser paths that only lead to distraction, disappointment, and destruction.

We are called to follow Jesus with our whole lives.

Stop and ask yourself these two questions:
1. Am I following Jesus as His own through salvation - Have I seen my sin and need for a Savior, trusted in Jesus and His death to save me from my sins, and given my life to Christ to follow Him? (read more on this HERE)

2.  What is one specific way (or ways) I know Jesus is calling me to follow Him today? 
Maybe it is:
- in obeying something in His Word
- in doing something you know He's called you to do
- in trusting Him to guide your future

As Jesus extends this call - "Follow Me." let our heart cry be:

"There is nothing I would rather do, no one I'd rather follow, and no place I would rather be!"

Will you answer Jesus call to follow Him?

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