The Tough Decision to Follow Jesus

<strong>The Tough Decision to Follow Jesus</strong>

The Scriptures remind us that when we make the decision to follow Jesus, we should “count the cost.”  (Lk 14:27-29)  In other words, Jesus wants us to know what it means to fully follow Him.  This is a serious subject with genuine consequences.

Just as the building of a physical house has a definite cost, so does the decision to follow Jesus have a cost.  We’re told that we must take up a CROSS and deny ourselves, in order to follow Jesus.  Let’s read what the Scriptures have to say:

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  (Mt 10:38 KJV, emphasis added)

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  (Lk 14:27 NASB)

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  (Mt 16:24 NRSV)

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  (Mk 8:34 NKJV)

First, we must deny ourselves!  What does that mean?  It means that we put Jesus and the Holy Spirit in charge of our lives.  We give up the throne that is our life, and ask Jesus to sit on the throne and to direct us by His Spirit.  We cannot follow Jesus and the world’s way at the same time.  Neither can we serve God and money at the same time.

Following Jesus may mean that we lose relationships, dreams, material things, and even our lives.  Our relationship with Jesus must take priority over everything else in our lives and must be of the supreme importance to us. 

We must, in essence, declare:  “I’d rather have Jesus than anything.”

If a day comes when someone threatens us with death if we do not renounce our faith in Jesus Christ, then we should happily choose Jesus and eternal life above staying here in our earthly body.  Pray for God’s blessings and grace in order to live boldly for Jesus.

May God’s grace strengthen you and empower you.

Christ Is Our Example

Christ Is Our Example

When Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be born as a human being, to grow up as a human child, and to mature into adulthood, He became our example for righteous and holy living.  He is our pattern for living.  So, let us obey Him and follow Him.

Let us look at the Scriptures:

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (Joh 13:14-15 NIV, emphasis added)

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  (1 Pet 2:21 NIV)

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continuously.”  (Mt 16:24 ISV)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  (Eph 5:1 ESV)

The one who claims to remain in him ought to live in the same way as he lived.  (1 Joh 2:6 CEB)

This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters.  (1 Joh 3:16 NCV)

The Bible is clear in urging us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  It may say it in different ways, but they all teach us that Jesus is our example.  In the Bible, we are told to:

  • Do as Jesus has done;
  • Follow Jesus’ footsteps;
  • Deny ourselves and follow Jesus;
  • Imitate the Lord;
  • Live in the same way that He lived; and
  • Give our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Jesus is our pattern for living because He was without sin.  He taught eternal truths that will always be up to date.  The principles that Jesus gave us for living will give us mastery and victory over every area of our lives.  Praise God!