What does it mean to follow Jesus?

November 12, 2017 Discerning Reader 0 Comments

Jesus commanded Peter and Andrew to follow Him. They immediately left everything and followed Him. Then James and John left everything to follow Him. They left their jobs, their family, everything. Sometimes you have to leave everything so that you can follow Jesus. Sometimes you even have to leave your family and loved ones to follow Him.

Matthew 4:18-22
18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

They immediately left everything and followed Him. They left their boats and nets behind.

What were their boats and nets to them? Their livelihood. Everything. Every fisherman dreams to have their own boat, to work for themselves. They left their dream behind. They left their financial provision behind. They left their security behind. When they heard the voice of Jesus they knew that if they didn’t follow Him then, they wouldn’t have the chance later. They didn’t want to miss out on their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

We need to be like them. We need to eave everything behind and follow Jesus.

Jesus trained them for three and a half years, and then sent them out to preach the good news and make disciples.

Matthew 28:19
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Those who leave everything behind will always have Jesus. He will never leave or forsake them. He will be with them always.

We need to cut off everything attachment to things that keep us from following Jesus and becoming fishers of men.

Matthew 19:27-29
27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”
28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

Those who forsake everything to follow Jesus will receive back into their lives. If you leave your blood family to follow Jesus, you will be surrounded with spiritual family. When you forsake things for Jesus, God will provide much more for you.

We shouldn’t be attached to anything, even our own lives.

Luke 14:26
26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Who is your real family? Those who do the will of God.

Matthew 12:46-50
46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”
48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Be attached to your spiritual family, to those who love and serve God. Do not cling to those in your family who refuse to serve God. You must pray for them and love them, but do not seek their company or counsel. Separate yourself from their sin. Do not compromise with them or their sin. Do not give them wrong mercy, but speak the truth in love so that they may be saved.

Even God forsook His only Son for a time. When Jesus was on the cross, He bore our sin on Himself. God could not look on His sin, so He forsook Him.

Mark 15:34
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

God forsake Jesus for a time, but in the end, because Jesus was obedient to go through death on the cross, they were reunited. There is a time in every person’s life when they will be separated. Separation comes to every relationship from one reason or another. Sometimes it is God’s plan and purpose. Sometimes it is because of sin.

Separation comes to every life but the scariest separation is when we are separated from our savior. Our repentance brings reconciliation. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we never have to be separated from God again.

If you have family that isn’t serving God, release them into the hands of God so that He can minister to the them and deal with them. As long as you hold onto them and try to “fix” them yourself, you will struggle and they will fight. God will watch, hands off. When you stop clinging to them and trying to control them, when you let them go and pray for them instead, God will begin to work on their hearts. If you truly love your family, let them go. Let God deal with them.

If you continue to hold onto your family and try to bring change yourself, you will struggle with bitterness and anger. You will be frustrated because you can’t control their behavior and make them love God. That path will only lead to disease. Frustration, bitterness, and anger brings disease to your body.

Don’t try to make things happen in your time. Pray and let God take care of things in His time.

What does it mean to follow Jesus. Forsake yourself. Forsake your family. Forsake everything. Do not be attached to anything in this world. Be attached to Jesus.

God bless you,
Pastor Sun East

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