Christianity Tag

follow me The common belief among many church goers is that simple confession of belief in Jesus is all that one must do to be “saved” be a Christian. But that is not what Jesus said. Two word paints a different picture:

 

Follow Me

He doesn’t want us just to acknowledge Him, simply confess who He is, but as Jesus said, even the demons know & believe who I am.  He wants the most intimate relationship possible. He wants us to be like Him, imitate His life, live and do as He did, continue His mission on earth, follow Him even unto abandoning ourselves and our lives.

 

Here’s what Jesus said:

  • And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. Mat 4:19 
    But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and let the dead bury their dead. Mat 8:22
    And he who does not take up his cross and Follow Me is not worthy of Me. Mat 10:38
    Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and Follow Me. Mat 16:24 
    Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, Follow Me. Mat 19:21 
    And calling near the crowd with His disciples, He said to them, Whoever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and Follow Me. Mar 8:34 
    And it happened as they were going in the way, one said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. Luke 9:57 
    The day after, Jesus desired to go forth into Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, Follow Me. John 1:43 
    My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they Follow Me. John 10:27 
    If anyone serves Me, let him Follow Me; and where I am, there also My servant shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26

 
And the response of the disciples, those who heard Jesus say those two words?

  • And it happened as they were going in the way, one said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. Luke 9:57
  • And they immediately left their nets and Followed Him. Mat 4:20

and they did, even unto death, how about you…

are you a Follower?

charity_water baby bottle I read for the first time yesterday about Scott Harrison founder of Charity Water, I was both elated and jealous (in a good Godly way) of his life and ministry. Scott after doing a 2 year tour with Mercy Ships (when I was in YWAM I got to go on their ship Anastasis it was part of YWAM then) he was the ship photojournalist, photo documenting their work during his time with the ministry. The things he saw changed his perspective on life, what was important, so he traded the life he once had in NY. Life in the fast lane, hanging out with the rich and famous, drinking $16 cocktails, driving a BMW to doing something about the water crisis, so he started raising money from those he knew in NY and founded Mercy Water.

As he put it "I fell in love with Liberia – a country with no public electricity, running water or sewage – Spending time in a leper colony and many remote villages, I put a face to the world’s 1.2 billion living in poverty." So when he left Mercy Ships he set out to spend his life for more then living for himself and his selfish pleasures, he could not get out of his mind people, children walking for miles everyday to get a few gallons of dirty water, that any American would not let their dog drink. People living in extreme poverty, so he decided to do something more with his life. Spend it for God and those closest to God’s heart, the poor.

So he founded Mercy Water, and in 3 years his group has raised $10 million (most of that last year alone) and has helped bring water to thousands of people.

I want his life as they say, my life to be spent for such a cause, purpose, I too would rather live poor serving God and help end the suffering and plight of the poor that clime the corporate latter, drive a Lexus and live in a 5000 sq ft home in Malibu on the beach. Would love for God to have that kind of calling and gifting on me.

Read about Scott and see Charity Waters website

Watch his video presentation at The Idea Camp

My website on world poverty Isaiah Challenge

time 

Take this quick quiz . . .

How much time did you spend this past week:

  • Watching  TV shows and movies?
  • Playing video games?
  • Watching sports on TV or at a game?
  • Surfing the Internet, or hanging out on Facebook?
  • Have conversations about meaningless worldly things?

Add all those hours up______:

Now how much time did you spend:

  • Reading, studying and meditating on the word of God?
  • Praying?
  • Worshiping God?
  • In community and fellowship with other believers? (and I do not mean just setting in same pew)
  • Going into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mat 16:15
  • Going and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded you. Mat 28:19-20
  • Fulfilling Matthew 25:31-46………
  • Feeding the hungry?
  • Giving drink to the thirsty?
  • Taking in a stranger?
  • Clothing the naked?
  • Visiting the sick?
  • Visiting those in prison?
  • Visiting orphans and widows in their affliction? James 1:27
  • Delivering the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him? Job 29:12 

Add all those hours up______:

If our total hours is larger on the first than the second, then our lives are out of sync with Jesus, with His calling for every follower of Him, and things must change. All the things on the second list are the things Jesus said if you love Him you will be found doing, daily. All those things are what the life of a true follower of Christ should looks like, what it means to truly imitate the life of Christ. The difference between confessing who Christ is and truly being a follower of Christ.

It is time to reevaluate our lives and what we spend our time doing. Is it following Christ, obeying His commands, living for Christ or our selves and our own pleasures, just like the rest of the world? Is our life being spent to reach the lost, spread the gospel, make disciples, heal the sick, take care of the needy, orphans & widows, or it to obtain and maintain the American dream, be rich, happy and comfortable?

3043675198_52ec03c72a In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus tells us;

“Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

But yet so many pastors and church’s are preaching the gospel of the Wide Road, they are teaching that all one has to do is make an intellectual decision, that is agree with the fact that Jesus is Lord, and you are saved. Then live however you want, believe whatever you want about who Jesus is, who God is. Pick and choose what every scriptures you agree with, and cut out the ones you do not like. And adopt any theology you want about God, Jesus, the Bible, salvation and life.

So many pastors, churches and even study bible today teach that there are no absolute truths when it comes to God, Jesus, salvation and the word. That God is an individual experience, interpretation and understanding as to who He is and what He requires of man.

There is a great difference between what men teach today and what Jesus taught.

This must change.

And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.  Joshua 24:15

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life .  (Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a)

Two times God ask His people to choose, and He is still asking this today of all whom would come to Him. And we must make and prove our choice every day, whom we will serve, whom or what we will live for.

God gives us a simple choice. Choose Him and get life. Don’t and get death. It’s that simple.

I am striving to choose to serve Him with all of my self, my life everyday, to choose life, to Love God, live for Him, to listen to Him and be guided by the Holy Spirit in all I do, Every moment. Every day.

 

The bible is not a collection of stories about people and their lives that say "And they lived happily every after". Stories about people who lived rich and happy lives. No where do you find lives that prove the life taught by people like Osteen, that it is every follower of Christ destiny to live a happy and rich life, get every material desire of you heart. Live comfortable rich and happy lives, getting everything you want if you just have faith.

Instead it is a book filled with stories of tragedy, hardship, sacrifice and suffering, even unto violent death for the people of God. People who left all comfort and position to live lives of poverty and suffering for God’s cause, for the spreading of the the Kingdom of God. Pretty much the only people who had a "lived happy every after" was after they died and left this world and entered heaven, that was the only way that was archived for the vast majority.

Just read the Fox’s Book of Martyrs and how the lives of the disciples ended up as well as other church saints, do you read any "And they lived happily every after" about their lives, and if anyone was entitled to such a thing it was them.

In fact in Rom 8:17 it tells us "And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together." Indicating that in order to be glorified with Christ we must suffer as He did. That in order to be heirs of Him we must partake in a life of suffering for Him, suffer as He did.

I think the church needs to reread the bible, take a real good look at the real call of Christ on His people, take a closer look at the lives of God’s people in history.

discipling All followers of Christ are called to make disciples, not simply believers like so many churches do, Jesus addressed that issue when He stated "Even the demons believe–and shudder!." You see believing who Jesus is has never really been the issue, Satan himself believe who Jesus is, in fact he knows for certain who Jesus is. The Issue has always been following, obeying, that is making Him Lord of you life. And that is where we come in, our call, mission given to us in Mat 28:19 "Go therefore and Make disciples of All the nations." Our job is not to make believers out of people, but rather followers of Jesus.

Every follower of Christ if they are living obedient to Christ, obeying all His commandments, as He state if you love Him then you are obeying All of His commands. The you are fulfilling the great commission as it is called Mat 28:18-20 and are making disciples. Every follower of Christ should have Timothy’s in their life. Everyone should without exception who is a follower of Jesus should have people in their life they are discipling, and doing so the way Jesus modeled for us, doing daily life with them, teaching them by how they live and with their words the life lived in Christ. Teaching them about God and Jesus, the word of God, how to know and use their spiritual gifts, and how to proclaim the gospel and make disciples themselves.

As Jesus showed us this is not an over night task, a Sunday school class you take for six weeks and graduate, it is a life time commitment, too Jesus three years full time to prepare His disciples to Go out on their own. Are you better than Jesus, more able than Him to disciple other, I thinks not. You should be giving years to disciple others, do life with them on a daily bases to teach them, disciple them into their new life in Christ. It is not your pastors job, a Sunday school teachers job, a book to be read, but a life to be lived out.

Go and Make disciples.

 

Part 8 in the series

dirty water 4 Dig a Well, Go to Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, East Africa

Over one billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide. Polluted water isn’t just dirty—it’s deadly. Some 1.8 million people die every year of diarrheal diseases like cholera. Tens of millions of others are seriously sickened by a host of water-related ailments—many of which are easily preventable.

More than 1.5m children under five die each year because they lack access to safe water and proper sanitation. Every day water-related diseases claim the lives of 5000 children under the age of five. That’s roughly one every 15 seconds. Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task.

If one million Christ followers where to go for 7 day each over the next year they would dig enough wells to end the water crises.

 

Part 7 in the series

girls cheering on

I attended some of my nieces softball games the past two weekend, loved watching those girls play (10 to 12 years olds) , they are so amazing, the sills and abilities they posses at such a young age.

One of the things that caught my attention was that when they make an errors, mess up, strike out, drop a ball their teammates still say good job, you’ll get it next time and high five them, the coaches yell out good try, way to try, sake it off. As well as all of us in the stands, cheered for them just as if they hit a home run even when it was a pop fly out, shout out good hit! Not one of those girls is allowed to feel like they failed, no matter how badly they messed up.

That made me think of the verse Heb 12:1  "Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," And how we have our own cheering section in heaven, but we should have one here to. When we mess up, make mistake, the body of Christ should be like my nieces teammates there to high five us, say good try, you’ll get it next time when we strikeout. But I do not see that happening very much at all in the church today, and that saddens me.

We the church, the body of Christ must, need to learn from girls softball, learn to be a team that supports each other no matter what, how bad we mess up. I saw how much it effected those girls, their spirits, them emotionally, made them what to do better next time. It keep them in the game with high spirits no matter the score, because they new they were winners no matter what the scoreboard said, glad to be on the team and in the game with them, and so should every member of the body of Christ.

Baptize someone, nearest lake, stream or pool.

The second command of the great commission to all followers of Christ is to baptize new followers of Christ, most certainly referring to someone whom the Lord revealed Christ to during your sharing the gospel with them. This is the duty of every follower of Christ to do, if you have not done so ether you have not been proclaiming the gospel as Jesus command you to and have no need to, or you have been passing the duty on to someone else, like maybe your pastor. But it is your duty, the is one of the greatest joys and experience in your walk with God you can have is to to baptize someone into the Kingdom of God, why would you not want to do this! Why would you not want to be part of this glorious event, the induction of someone into the new life in Christ?

For every follower of Christ this should be a common occurrence in your life. It is according to Jesus something that is to be a action performed by all of His followers. If you are not doing part 5, sharing Christ, the gospel with others, then get busy doing what Christ called you to do, thus creating the need to baptize others in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Mat 28:19

Like I said in post 5, Chose this day to live, be like Philip in Act 8: 26-40. We read in Act 8:38 “And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” Only you can chose to live like that, be like him. Go and baptize in the name of Jesus.

Part 6 in the series