I Will Follow

 

I will follow, you will follow, and we will follow. But what or who will we follow? You may think you will go your own way; you will not be a follower but a leader. But the truth is simply this: You will either follow God and righteousness or Satan and sin. One way leads to eternal life and the other leads to eternal death. One is the way that leads to happiness and fulfillment while the other is the way of sorrow and despair. There is no third way!

*   (1 Tim 2:5-6 NIV)  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, {6} who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.

*   (John 14:6 NIV)  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

But before you can follow a leader you should know how to recognize that leader. It is easy to be misled: Especially if you are inclined to be misled.

*   (2 Tim 4:2-4 NIV)  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. {3} For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. {4} They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

In fact some of the things listed here explicitly are commonly done and even approved.

*   (1 Cor 6:9-10 NIV)  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders {10} nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

So it is important to know this.

*   (Gal 6:7-8 NIV)  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. {8} The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Follow me! Jesus said those words time after time. Sometimes they were heeded and sometimes they were not. When they were not heeded there was often an excuse offered. I have seen the same, as I am sure you have, when people are not fully motivated, when they want the prize but are not willing to play the game, so to speak. You will hear, but this or but that or yeah but or but first as a preamble to not following. Excuses will be rampant on the Day of Judgment.

*   (Mat 25:40-46 NIV)  "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' {41} "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. {42} For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, {43} I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' {44} "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' {45} "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' {46} "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

“Follow me,” Jesus said it over an over again. Let’s see a few of the many.

*   (Psa 119:106 NIV)  I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.

*   (Mat 8:19 NIV)  Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

*   (Luke 9:57 NIV)  As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

*   (Luke 9:61-62 NIV)  Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." {62} Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

*   (Mat 4:19 NIV)  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

*   (Mat 8:21-22 NIV)  Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." {22} But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."

*   (Mat 9:9 NIV)  As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

*   (Mat 10:37-39 NIV)  "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; {38} and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. {39} Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

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

*   (Mat 19:21-22 NIV)  Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." {22} When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

*    (Mark 1:17 NIV)  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

*   (Mark 2:14 NIV)  As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

*   (Mark 8:34 NIV)  Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

*   (Mark 10:21 NIV)  Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

*    (Luke 9:23 NIV)  Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

*    (Luke 14:27 NIV)  And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

*    (John 1:43 NIV)  The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."

*   (John 10:27 NIV)  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

*   (John 12:26 NIV)  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

*    (John 21:22 NIV)  Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

*   (Mat 20:34 NIV)  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

*   (Mark 10:46-52 NIV)  Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. {47} When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" {48} Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" {49} Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." {50} Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. {51} "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." {52} "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

The point of all these verses is, perhaps, obvious. We all have received a calling but will we answer the call. If we answer the call will we stand by our decision?

*   (Mat 22:14 NIV)  "For many are invited, but few are chosen."

*   (John 6:64-66 NIV)  Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. {65} He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him." {66} From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

So I am telling you these things but I am also asking you not to follow me or believe in me. Rather, I ask you to know Jesus and accept Him and Him alone as your guiding light. Read the Bible. Study the Bible. The Bible is His written word and is sufficient for your needs when supplemented with His Holy Spirit.

*   (Luke 6:39 NIV)  He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?

*   (2 Pet 1:1-9 NIV)  Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: {2} Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. {3} His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. {4} Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. {5} For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; {6} and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; {7} and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. {8} For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. {9} But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

So let’s summarize:

*   (John 10:27 NIV)  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

*   (John 12:26 NIV)  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.