Nov. 27, 2022

Follow Me - Episode 260

Follow Me  - Episode 260

“Follow Me”  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 Cor. 11:1   The single most important directive in the Gospels is the Savior's "follow me." It occurs in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. "If anyone wishes to come after...


“Follow Me”  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 Cor. 11:1

 

The single most important directive in the Gospels is the Savior's "follow me." It occurs in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

  • "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
  • "As He was passing along, He saw Levi, the son of Alpheus, sitting in the tax collector's place and He said to him, 'Follow me"' (Mark 2:14).
  • "'One thing is still lacking to you. Sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.' When he heard these things he was much grieved, for he was very rich" (Luke 18:22-23).
  • "You do not believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me" (John 10:27).

 

I have not seen clear statistical evidence that fewer Christians die of cancer than non-believers or that they are immune in greater degree from the diseases that afflict the human race.

 

Some of the kindest, most selfless persons I have known have had more than their share of bad health.  The fact that they belong to Christ did not protect them from disease.

 

Therefore, I will not follow Christ for promised healing.

 

I will not deny or dispute evidence of supernatural healing but I will rejoice at every recovery from what seems to be hopeless, threatened death.   I will not hesitate to pray for a better health for my loved ones and acquaintances.   I will set no limits on what God may do but I will not follow Christ only for promised healing.

 

I see no sign that Christians escape disaster and accident more often than others.

I’ve seem the evil that men can do.

 

Therefore, I will not follow Christ for any promised protection from natural or man made disaster. 

 

I will not scoff at amazing survivals nor deny that providence has and continues to work for the good of God's own but I will continue to pray for protection from wicked men and tragedy. Just the same, I will not follow Christ just because he can protect me from accident or catastrophe.

 

I do not believe that God has to bless you with financial prosperity. 

 

David said that he "had not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" and in the deepest needs of this life, that is certainly true but all of us have known good people who have not prospered.

 

Therefore, I will not follow Christ for promised freedom from physical want or hope of affluence.

 

God wills that the mind of Christ be formed in us and there is no doubt in my mind that the Christian's attitudes and actions will be improved by his Christianity, but I will not follow Christ for any promise of personality enhancement or perfection.

 

Why then follow Christ?  Why become a disciple of Jesus when life may become more complicated as He so often warned?

 

For one reason alone:

 

In Jesus we get the chance to behold the face of God.  He is the truth, the everlasting truth, he is Emanuel God in the flesh.  I know that in His life, death, and resurrection, I am redeemed to God, the giver of life.

 

I believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  He has all power and goodness and I trust Him and His promises.  To him, I offer my life, damaged or whole, brief or full of years.  It matters not.  God is my rock.  God is my anchor. He  is the one certain thing in an uncertain world.  He is to be worshiped, not for my benefit but because HE is worthy.

 

He saves me.  When this poor man cried out He heard me.  HE saved me.  He is my justification.  To worship the God of our salvation, to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving; that alone is our vocation.  We offer our lives to God, not so as to be healthy, wealthy, or wise, not even so to gain the strength to do great things for Him; we offer our lives to Him because He alone has claim upon us. 

 

Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." 2 Timothy 3:12.  "If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." 1 Peter 4:16.  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4.  What He has promised is that He will never leave us; He will never forsake us, and those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ for salvation will have ultimate victory and nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:39.

 

     True faith is not determined by circumstances.  Mature faith believes in the supernatural power of God because "nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37.  Mature faith also bows to the sovereign purposes of God.  "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28.  "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:13.

 

Real faith is to center your life on Almighty God.  Mature faith believes in the supernatural power of God, and mature faith bows to the sovereign purposes of God.  Mature faith is based on the steadfast promises of God and the greatest is this, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16.