Following Jesus

Our greatest desire in life should be to walk in the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus willingly left the glory of heaven and came to this earth, where He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus became the perfect Lamb of God for us, whose blood was shed on behalf of our sin (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18-19). While on earth Jesus did everything perfectly in accordance with His Father’s will. Jesus never questioned His Father’s love, nor was Jesus’ commitment to the scheme of redemption ever in doubt. As Jesus prayed on the eve of His betrayal, trial, and ultimate death, He said – “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). Jesus brought to mankind the complete blueprint to glorifying God by faithfulness to His will. It is our responsibility to learn from Jesus and how to replicate His trust and faithfulness toward the Father in our own lives.

This willingness to fully trust and follow Jesus requires the highest level of commitment that man can offer – EVERYTHING! There is no room for error or doubt, but rather man’s absolute best is required by God. The problem I am often faced with, is whether or not I am willing to give my all in service to God. Am I willing to be like Jesus in every aspect of my life? Am I willing to walk in the footsteps of my Savior? These questions and the choice to follow Jesus should be given serious attention in our lives.

Our Savior has firmly established that God’s expectation in discipleship is everything. Jesus told His followers -

26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:26-27).

This step in following Jesus is extremely hard for those who have been blessed with a wonderful immediate family. I love to spend time with my parents, siblings, and other family members. I love sitting in the living room reminiscing and telling stories, but if I am not careful my love for my family will become greater than my love for Jesus. Jesus also requires that we sacrifice ourselves in order to more fully follow Him. Am I willing to fulfill the requirements of being a faithful disciple of Jesus? Am I willing to love Him more than any other? Am I willing to sacrifice everything for Him?

In our daily lives, we allow compromise to become an influence in almost every decision we make. We will compromise with others concerning the place where we would like to eat. We will compromise with ourselves on the length of time we are willing to spend exercising. Compromise has simply become our mechanism of trying to appease others, while still getting to do what we want. Our discipleship to Jesus does not promise this same type of compromise. We do not get to barter with God concerning which items in our lives will be given to Him and which items we will continue to retain. The requirements of being Jesus’ disciple are clear and understandable. Are we willing to give those up in service to Jesus?

Jesus came to this earth and faithfully did all that His Father commanded. Jesus took on the weight of the world’s sins, because He knew that through His sacrifice many would be made whole. Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ and His humility and service! Let this challenge us to do more than we may have in the past. Let us be motivated to give God our very best, and faithfully serve Him all the days of our lives. May Jesus’ example in life influence us to  become more dedicated in our service to God!