Here at church, there has been a lot of talk about the topic of Following JESUS. In the last devotional that I wrote, I gave you a challenge to make following Jesus your number one goal in this new year. How have you been doing at following Jesus this year? It seems like this year has just started, but today is already day number 58 of the year. I point this out to remind us that following Jesus is a daily choice. If we aren't intentional about daily following Christ, the days will just pass us by; we will look back over the year and regrettably not be any closer to Christ. It is my desire that each person in our church be proactive and intentional about following Jesus each and every day.
In my last devotional, I mainly challenged us to prioritize following Jesus as a goal for this year, but I also said that I would revisit Mark 1 and highlight some truths about following Jesus. If you haven't done so, take a minute and read through Mark 1:1-20.
1. Following JESUS is a personal decision.
Jesus calls us to personally follow Him. It is a choice that each and every person must make for himself. Our church may decide that our goal is to follow Jesus, but that is not enough. Each person must individually decide to follow Jesus. My relationship with Jesus is a personal one and is dependent upon my choice to follow Him.
2. Following JESUS is about a Person.
It might seem like we just talked about this in the previous point, but I'd like to draw a distinction. Following Jesus is about a personal decision, but it is also about the Person I am following. The emphasis here is in the priority of the object of my following. I am following Jesus. I am not just following an idea or a feeling; I am following a Person. I am following the One who loved me so much that He died, rose again, and offered salvation from my sins. I am following my Savior, my God, my Redeemer, my Rock, my Friend, and my Rescuer.
3. Following JESUS is a commitment.
When Jesus called His disciples, it was a huge decision for them. There was a commitment of time that Jesus would take to develop them "... to become fishers of men." (verse 17). Following Jesus is a commitment to allow Christ time to work in our lives and to develop us into what He wants us to become. The disciples also gave up everything they knew and even loved in order to follow Christ. How committed am I to following Christ? Is there anything restraining me from following Christ more fully? Do I need to give something up in order to completely follow Jesus?
These are some simple, but challenging thoughts for me today. I hope they will encourage and challenge you also in the area of following Jesus!
Written by Corey Knopf