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Feb 9:  Jesus Expects Us to Actually Follow Him.

Matthew 4:18-22: As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”

When Jesus said Follow Me…First, we see it is a “personal invitation”, which requires a personal response.

  • “Follow Me,” is an invitation to a personal relationship that requires you to take Action.
  • “Follow” means, “Come after Me.” Be My follower. Put Your future in My hands.
  • You Let Jesus Lead from that Day Forward. He is at the Center of All We Do!

This is Different, from the way Many People Think about Following Jesus.

  • Today many have come to believe that Jesus exists to satisfy our demands…This is a distorted perception of Christianity.  It poses the power of faith and prayer to be instruments designed to get Jesus to serve our impulses for peace and prosperity.

Following Jesus really means “to adopt” Jesus as the local rabbi of our lives.  To sit under His wisdom in order to learn from Him about the heavenly Father and about life with the Father, and to serve Him in every possible way. It means to give Him the highest priority as the supreme relationship of life out of which every other relationship and activity is defined and directed. It means putting Jesus at the center. Giving Him the lead…Learning of God’s Love for us, His power, faithfulness, and intentions for our life. It Means to Learn what really matters in life, kingdom values, and how-to live-in faith and obedience.

Matt. 16:24 Jesus said, “If you are willing to come after me, pick up your cross and follow me”

  • To lay down Our life for His cause, leave the old ways behind, and stand up for Him no matter what.
  • Telling others about what Jesus has done at the cross and grave. Calling them to follow Him as well.
  • It is Trusting Him with Your Life because You Know what He Has Done For You.

KEY: He died on a cross and rose again to rescue you from sin and death, and He really is the life giver…And Because of that it wise to heed His Call… “Follow me!”

Amazingly, these men did follow Jesus. They left behind their old lives for a new one with Jesus…They left behind their boats, their nets, business and families to live with Him and go where He would go.

Did they totally understand Jesus and what He was about at that point in time?

  • Probably Not…Even so, they saw something in Him that caused them to trust in Him.
  • Maybe something about His preaching, His message of the kingdom, touched them and attracted them. I Believe They Saw A Man that was Not Like Others
  • We can’t be sure, but the fact is they followed. They dropped their nets, and they followed Jesus.

And so, began an adventure that changed and Transformed their lives for Eternity.

  • They gained New insights about the living of this life and what’s really important. Jesus would teach them such things as, What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose his soul? 
  • Or the most important commandment in God’s sight: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
  • They Witnessed miracles, Saw signs of the kingdom and Lives get Changed. They watched Him die on a cross, feeling all was lost, then see Him alive 3 days later. They would then learn again about His power over death and His promise for those who belong to Him. Because He lives, they shall live also.
  • Days Later they were filled with God the Holy Spirit and know more of Jesus on that day than they had known about Him in the 3 years they were with Him.
  • From the day of Pentecost, when God the Holy Spirit filled them, They were Transformed, and each one of them would become so committed to Jesus Christ and the cause of His kingdom, they would be willing to lay down their own lives.  Not one of them would have looked back over the experience and thought, I’m Sorry I ever Followed Jesus.

***This same Jesus, who called the fisherman to Himself by the Sea of Galilee, after His resurrection, has continued to call people through the centuries to follow Jesus.  Millions upon millions of people around the globe have answered the call to follow Him over the centuries…Lives have been transformed and enriched.  I’ve never heard of any of His followers say they were sorry they followed Jesus.

Enough about fishermen… Today I want talk about you. As I said earlier…Everyone Follows Someone!

Who are you following these days?  Are you living daily in close proximity to Him, learning from Him, and serving Him in this world?  Are you unconditionally committed to the cause of Building His kingdom?  If not, He’s calling you today. He says, Follow me. I have big plans for your life. 

What You’ll Discover is that Life with JESUS in the Lead, is an Adventure You Really Don’t Want to Miss!

following Jesus…First, involves Trusting in what He’s done for you at the cross and the victory He gained for you at the empty grave.  Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

It involves Dropping Your Nets, like those disciples did, which symbolizes anything that might inhibit or prohibit your complete commitment to follow Christ. It might be people in your life or things, possessions, money that is controlling You.  It might mean personal dreams. It might be secret sins you need to give up. It might be personal pride that can keep a person from Fully Submitting to Christ.

Are you clinging to any nets in your hand? Do you have any rope burns?   Dropping those nets involves an ongoing relationship with Jesus, a passionate pursuit of getting to know Christ.

  • This leads to the follower being transformed in the image of Christ.

To Follow is moving into a deepening intimacy with Christ – Coming to know Him…Not Just About Him

  • Becoming a clear reflection of His character in our lives.  Then we begin to replicate the grace, mercy, love, justice, compassion, truth, and righteousness of Christ Jesus our leader.
  • It means standing up for Him, speaking out for Him when it’s not the popular thing to do, even when it’s uncomfortable. It means sticking with Him and trusting Him, even when life gets rough and tough

“Starting out as a follower is the easy step. Staying on the road with Him is the challenge. Jesus is looking for followers.” Joe Stowell

Most stop short of that, quite satisfied to relate to Him; accept His liberation from hell; praise Him; find comfort, solace, and joy in Him, and be intrigued by Him. But few are bent toward unconditionally following Him, and that is what will make all the difference in the world.”

Do you count yourself as a true follower of Jesus Christ?  Or are You Just a Fan?

At the start, I said that Jesus Expects Us to Actually Follow! Following Jesus means a Radical Decision A Change of Direction…A New Purpose and Making Different Choices.

  • Will You heed the Voice of the Savior who is calling to you to take a Closer Walk with Him! Commit to follow Him…Passionately get to know Him…Learn from Him, and Serve Him Right Where You Are.

Point: “Lukewarm Christians Call “RADICAL” What Jesus Expected of All His Followers”.