Following Jesus (part 3)

Matthew 16:24

This is our third lesson on following Jesus. We have previously learned that to follow Jesus we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. Today as we conclude this study we want to focus on how to follow Jesus daily.

Obedience    

We often take God’s presence for granted. We can assume that because Jesus said He would be with us always, He will follow us wherever we go. (Matthew 28:20) Jesus does not follow us; we are to follow Him. You do not invite God to join you in your activity. He invites you to become involved in His activity. Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I choose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” (John 15:16) Following Jesus requires absolute obedience. Everything we are and have should be daily surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He does not seek or need our counsel about which direction or duties that we think would be suitable. God already knows what is best without ever having to consult with us. Henry Blackaby wrote the famous book, “Experiencing God,” in which he taught that we need to find out what God is doing and join Him. He taught that surfers do not make waves they look for and pick a wave to ride. God makes the waves to ride and God has a will for your life.

Are you being totally obedient to the Lord?
What areas of your life do you need to pray about and seek to change in order to be pleasing to God?  
Do you think God blesses willful disobedience and sin in your life?

Opportunities

Following Jesus will lead you into places and experiences you never dreamed of. You will be with Jesus as He weeps over those who are trapped in sin. You will feel the pain that Jesus feels. You will see those who are spiritually blind experience the joy of coming to know God personally for the first time. You will see lives that were broken made whole. You will see marriages restored, those in bondage set free, and those who mourn, comforted. At times it will be easy to follow Jesus. At other times, you may be tempted to abandon Him. Following Jesus can mean going through the storms of life or standing on the mountaintops. Your heart will be overwhelmed and your heart will be overflowing.

What are some of the joys you have experienced through following Jesus?
Do you ever consider how many things you may have missed out on by not following Jesus?

Oneness

Jesus invites us to participate in a special fellowship with Him, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins is known as the Atonement. This means because He loved you and wants you to follow Him, He paid the price for this oneness and unity to be made available for you. Often times, people wander away from the Lord Jesus. When you stopped following Jesus you did so on your own terms. The Bible says that God will resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Your selfish pride can lead you away from following Jesus and the end result is you are a miserable person. For you to return to following Jesus and be restored to the joy of your salvation and the oneness you long for, you will have to return under His conditions. This will require repentance on your part and forgiveness and restoration on God’s part. He is God, and you are not. Are you willing to follow Jesus anywhere, at any time, under any condition? The truth you must learn is that this is the only way you can follow Him!


God is so gracious and so good, why don’t you turn your heart toward Him, confess your sins, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him! There is nothing in life better that walking with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings and hearing Him say daily, “Follow Me.”