Tag Archives: follow me

Follow Me

My son, like most kids, loves to play chase around the house. I usually play along pretending he is faster than me, but sometimes I catch him. When he realizes that I’m going to catch him, the game changes very quickly. He says, “Just follow my footsteps!” He then goes around the living room, hopping, sliding, drumming on the couch, and other crazy movements to which I am to follow. I have to pay attention to where he went and how he went so I can follow correctly. Otherwise, I’m not following very well.

I often think about Jesus’ call of “Follow me” that He gave to the disciples and now to us. Follow me. Follow my footsteps. Do what I do. Say what I say. The disciples were so good at this that they were named Christians by others in Acts 11:26. The name “Christian” means follower of Christ. I find it interesting that it wasn’t something they labeled themselves as, but rather, based on their actions, they were called it. Are you and I self labeled Christians or do others label us that based on how we live?

I love how the Amplified Bible expounds on the meanings of words based on their original meaning. In Mark 2:14, Jesus went up to Matthew and said, “’Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].’ And he got up and followed Him [becoming His disciple, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]” (AMP). Matthew was labeled as scum by another version, yet when He accepted the invitation of “Follow me”, he changed how he lived to follow Jesus’ example. How have our lives changed since accepting Him?

The call of “Follow me” goes out to everyone, but there’s a difference in following Jesus around and being His disciple, by accepting Him as your Master and Teacher through following His example. The Pharisees followed Jesus around, but it wasn’t enough to change how they lived. We each need to examine our life to see if we are following Jesus around or if we are following His example because there’s a big difference in labeling yourself a Christian and following His example to the point that others label you one. “Follow me” is more than a geographic change – it’s a lifestyle change. 

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Come Here

One of my favorite songs in high school was “The Call” by Steven Curtis Chapman. I don’t think it ever made the top ten on Billboard, but it told a powerful story of some fisherman who left their nets on the waters edge. A man named Jesus had called them by name, and with reckless abandon, they walked away from everything they had known including their jobs and their family. The chorus of the songs says, “We will abandon it all for the sake of the call. No other reason, but for the sake of the call. Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call.”

For most of my life, I have imagined that scene. The sun was just coming up and there were fishermen all along the shores of Galilee. They were beside their boats cleaning their nets, tossing sticks and seaweed to the side. They were talking about the productivity, or lack there of, from the night before, and discussing where they would try tonight. That’s when, in Matthew 4:19, a stranger walked up and calmly said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” They put down their nets and started following Him.

I think I got most of it right, but what I didn’t get right was the “follow me” part. Jesus didn’t say that calmly. When you look at the original language, it was more of a, “Come here!” It was authoritative. When He spoke those words, it struck a chord with something in them, and they walked away from everything they knew. James and John walked away from their father. Imagine that conversation. It sounds crazy when you think about it, but that’s what happened. 

I took my five year old to a baseball game a few days ago. As we were walking through the crowd to find food, he kept wandering away. I found myself yelling, “Come here” a lot. He would run back to me, but would wander away before long. That’s how it is for many of us in our walk with Jesus. He’s constantly yelling us, “Come here!” We wander off, and He’s calling us back. The call He gives to all of us is to follow Him. He doesn’t stay in the same place. He’s constantly moving and drawing us into deeper relationship with Him. The question is, are you too settled in where you are to follow where He leads?

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Seize The Day

“Follow me,” the call of Jesus, has gone out to everyone in every generation since He stepped foot on the earth. Since He was physically here, people have given excuses as to why they can’t. Some aren’t ready to rough it by giving up selfish pleasures. Others have priorities that take precedence in their lives. Some are waiting until they become financially stable before they follow Him. But others, like the disciples, drop everything and follow Him when He calls.

In Luke 9, Jesus experienced people with excuses. In verse 57, a person said, “I’ll go with you, wherever” (MSG). Jesus replied, “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know”. We don’t know how this person responded, but we can based on the rest of) the text we can assume he didn’t want to give up the security of his home for the security of Heaven. Like many of us, he valued the perishable things of this world instead of the imperishable.

In verse 59, “He [Jesus] said to another person, ‘Become my disciple, side with My party, and accompany Me!’ But he replied, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury (await the death of my father'” (AMP). Jesus refused and said, “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” (MSG). You see, he wanted to go home, wait for his father to die, collect his inheritance, and then follow Jesus. We carry the Word of Life in us, and as Jesus said, life is urgent! We can’t wait to share our faith. We must do it now.

Then another person said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home” (MSG). He wanted to sell his belongings, get the cash, and then follow Jesus. In verse 62, Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backwards looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” We cannot procrastinate when we are called to follow Jesus. We are not guaranteed another day. Immediate obedience is what He’s looking for.

Which of these excuses have you given God? You don’t have time, so you’ll do it later? You can’t afford to do what God called you to? Your life isn’t at the right place right now? We’ve all given God an excuse as to why we can’t do what He’s called us to, but there’s still time if you have breath in your lungs. Pray that God would put an urgency in your heart to follow Him wherever and however He sees fit. Eternity is in the balance, and it can’t wait for some. Go out and give His life to everyone you meet today.

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