Follow Me: This simple request of “Follow Me” spoken by Jesus is a life-changer. In hearing Him speak it in the Bible we see the crossroads that it puts a person in with just two simple words. “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he rose and followed Him.” — Matthew 9:9. “And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” — Luke 9:23. “And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” — Matthew 4:19. Jesus put forward the request to follow Him and some instantly answered the call (Peter, Andrew, Philip, Matthew). However, others sometimes shrunk from the opportunity, like with the rich young ruler. “When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.” — Luke 18:22–23. “Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” — Matthew 8:19–22. When God gives a call He expects devotion and readiness. Either you go or you stay. Your decision. So be ready when God calls. Jump in and serve Him and Him alone.
Church Life: Following Jesus is more than church attendance. You are not a follower of Christ because of a denominational tag or an allegiance to your community. You are a follower of Christ because you take up your cross and follow Him. It’s important to know the distinction between church life and your relationship with Christ Jesus. The Church functions as a gathering to worship God, to be taught the Word, to help the needy, and encourage each other so we might not fall. The head of the church is Christ Jesus and the moment the focus becomes something other than Him then peril will follow. If Christ is replaced with a message of self-help, personal gain, or worldly views the Church ceases to become effective. We must have churches that seek the kingdom of God and honor Christ in all things. We need pastors and teachers who speak and preach the name of Jesus boldly without fear. The church is meant to do the opposite of the world, not embrace it. Jesus will always give the same request to each person…”Follow Me.” We cannot serve two masters. It’s either Jesus or the world. Find a great group of believers who feel the same way and you will find a great church.
Endurance: Jesus never said it would be easy following Him, but He did give us the promise that He will be with us to the end. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:20. There will come times in your life when you will fall short, but you must endure. The ones who truly follow God endure in all things for they see the eternity ahead and the kingdom to come. “Because you have kept My word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” — Revelation 3:10. The Spirit of God you have inside of you is the only thing that truly matters. The enemy wants to make you forget about what you have, but never let it be. Let your light shine and endure through all trials and tribulations. As you endure you will see what truly matters. Christians do not cower but endure unto the end.
Motivation: A great example of taking the call of “Follow Me” was the missionary, Dr. David Livingstone (1813–1873). Livingstone was the foremost authority of exploration into Africa during that age of discovery. His achievements in geographical mapping, scientific research, and most importantly missionary outreach set an example for generations to come. In a speech at Cambridge, after the success of his book, Missionary Travels he implored fellow Christians to follow the call of preaching the gospel. “In the early ages the monasteries were the schools of Europe, and the monks were not ashamed to hold the plough. The missionaries now take the place of those noble men, and we should not hesitate to give up the small luxuries of life in order to carry knowledge and truth to them that are in darkness. I hope that many of those whom I now address will embrace that honourable career…For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay?- Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? — Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink, but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in, and for, us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk, when we remember the great sacrifice which HE made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us.” These are powerful words and stirred a movement. Livingstone survived a mauling of a lion, fought tirelessly against the slave trade, was sick with fever often, and lost many companions during his expeditions, yet he still pushed on. He heard the call of “Follow Me” from Jesus and did not shrink from the opportunity. There were hardships and shortcomings on his part, but he endured and motivated generations to come. We need such a revival in our society today. A motivating push to get more laborers into the field. Jesus calls with “Follow Me” and now we need those ready to answer by saying, “Here I am Lord, send me.”
Tim and Will