There are few concepts in the language of Christians that are as commonly used as that of “following Jesus.” It was Jesus who originated the concept, calling certain ones to become His disciples by saying, “Follow me” (Matthew 16:24-26). The language of “following” is familiar to us, but maybe the concept behind it is more foreign. Jesus’ call for people to follow Him and become His disciples is actually a call to be His students; to be people that He leads, educates, morphs, and ultimately trains to continue His mission. Jesus’ call to follow Him is actually a call to be trained by Him, in order to replicate Him.
The training we receive seldom seems formal or structured, primarily because it’s more relational. The commitment to follow Jesus begins in the hidden, personal areas of our heart, and in that beginning stage, is first only known by Him. We begin to engage with Him in our spirits, and prayers begin to form – and a relationship with Him begins. Once we have made that commitment to follow Him, our relationship grows, and every time we actively engage with God, we are slowly but steadily following Christ. We learn His teachings, we apply His words, we model His compassion to others, we pray, we worship, we serve, we give, we fellowship with other believers…and we begin to discover that in this process, we are being changed. Every time we make a choice to act on what we know to be the actions and attitudes of Christ, we are taking a step in following Him, and He in that process makes us to be more like Him.
In his book Jesus in the Present Tense, Warren Weirsbe writes, “The better we know the Lord, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the more we will worship and obey Him. As a result, we will become more like Him and experience what the apostle Peter called growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).”
This is the growing life of the one who follows Jesus, and this is the life I’ll be talking about this Sunday at Liberty Hill. Join us at 10:30 AM as we talk about the steps of transformation that occur when we choose the path of following Jesus.