What does it means to follow Jesus?

When we read the 4 gospel, we see Jesus asking people to ‘follow Him’. I always find it amazing that all of them left everything immediately and followed Jesus. They do not need to consider or do any research prior to making a decision. They left families, boats, nets, their lives as fishermen and tax collectors. No hesitation at all.

  • Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. ~Matthew 4:18-20
  • Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him. ~ Mark 1:19-20
  • As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him ~Mark 2:14
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Light of Life

When we follow Jesus, we are not walking in the dark because He’s the Light of the world. Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. When we welcome Jesus into our life, His light exposes the darkness in our soul. There are many people who love darkness. They reject the light because they want to continue in their sins.

  • “Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “ I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.””
    ‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭
  • The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome. ~ John1:5
  • This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. ~John 3:19-21
So what is it really like to follow Jesus?

Definition of Follow:

  • to go, proceed, or come after
  • to engage in as a calling or way of life
  • to accept as authority
  • to copy after
  • to understand the sense or logic of (something, such as a line of thought)

To follow Jesus is basically to pursue, imitate and conform to him. Confirm to His attitude, values, virtues, likes & dislikes and affection. To be up close and see how He carry himself, how He behaves in certain situations, etc.

  • “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” ‭~Romans‬ ‭8:29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
  • “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
    ‭‭~II Corinthians‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
  • Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. ~Colossians 3:9-10

God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of Jesus (“Do not be conformed to this world.” ~Romans 12:2). God want us to be like Jesus. We are His image bearers in this fallen world. Our behaviour, conduct and actions must reflects the One who died for us to free us from our sins. To be like Jesus is to be holy. Without holiness, no one will see God.

  • Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. ~ Hebrews 12:14
  • “You put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” –Ephesians 4:24

What is Holiness?

Holiness is not righteousness. Righteousness is what happened to us when we accept Christ. It is the right standing with God given to us through the Cross. Holiness is our decision to live a life that pleases God. It has to do with how we live everyday, how we use our time and how we act. Holiness is to be set apart, separated from the world and embark on a new direction. Our thoughts, actions, words and behaviours should be different from the world.

The mirror is the Word of God. As we read the Word, we will be transformed into His image according to the Word. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to restrain our carnal nature and let our new nature be unleashed inwardly and outwardly. Our lifestyle should be a reflections of the transformation going on inside of us. That gives glory to God and it bears fruits.

Holiness is a fruit, not the root.” ~ Andrew Wommack

Holiness is a byproduct of being born again. We do not live a holy life to make God love us or to earn a blessing. God already loves us! The Cross is the proof. We live a holy life in response to His love for us. The more we see Him, know Him, we want to be like Him. We will be influenced by Him to live as He lives. It is a relationship. Imagine being with your Best Friend everyday. You spend time to understand his/her likes and dislikes, values and way of life. You will know why he/she do certain things. After a while, you even begin to talk like he/she and live like he/she.

As the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living” ~1 Peter 1:15

How do we follow Jesus? How is He like?

The fruits of the Spirit is the character of Jesus. It’s a summary of who He is. Do we have the fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives? The more we walk in the Spirit, the more Christ is formed in us. A person living in the flesh, with its passion and desires cannot walk in the Spirit.

  • When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.~Gal 5:19-21
  • “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” ~Galatians‬ ‭5:24-25‬ ‭

When we go through challenges, who we really are is exposed. Challenges expose our weakness. That’s the time to ask Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness and to have a better respond. There will be situations in our lives that will provoke us to hit back or retaliate. Jesus never lose His cool or throw a temper at others. Even at the cross, the innocent Lamb of God still prayed for the people who crucified Him.

  • When we are being wrongly accused, how do we respond? Do we allow anger to control us and start to snap and defend ourselves? Or do we exercise self control, hold our tongue, speak with kindness, submit the situation to God and continue to love the person?
  • When we face a financial lack or a crisis in our business, what do we do? Do we still have peace because we know that God is faithful and He with us?
  • When we go through difficulties, are we still joyful? Bible tells us to rejoice always!
  • Do we speak with kindness and gentleness to our children when they spilled milk on the sofa while we are engrossed in a live soccer match?
  • Are we good to people even when we cannot benefit from them? Are we still good to people who we know gossiped about us?

Nowadays, a simple offence can break decades of friendships and marriages. Many people serving in ministries became jaded and cynical. Our hearts have hardened and sin become more and more acceptable. We give and accept excuses for divorce, jealousy and outburst of anger. This should not be so for believers. To be honest, living in holiness is not easy and without the Holy Spirit, it is an impossible task.

To walk in love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control is only possible with the power of the Holy Spirit. They are birthed from the Spirit of God. They are the fruits of the Spirit!

Many people are born again but they are still connected to the world and their old lives. So they never change. Sad to say, some christians behaved worst than unbelievers. Their minds are not renewed by the Word of God. We need to spend time with God, hear from Him, read the Word and pray. If we live separated upon God, disconnect from darkness, we will live life with His power. We will be able to walk free and use our freedom to serve God.

Walking in the Spirit is not only for the elites or a group of special people. All christians are called to live in holiness, to bear fruits for His glory. God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us. He is our helper, support and comforter. We do not depend on our own strength to be fruitful but on the power of Holy Spirit.

Father in Heaven, I thank you for my brothers and sisters. I pray we will live our daily lives consecrated and submitted to the Holy Spirit. I pray we will develop the fruits of the spirit and live a life that brings glory to You. I pray we will be disciplined in our prayers and bible reading. I pray as we read the Word, Holy Spirit will convicts us and Your light will dispel all the darkness in our hearts. May Your blessings come very powerfully upon my brothers and sisters as they walk with You. Amen.

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