Russ B-“Follow Me”
Who is this that is asking so many, from so many different walks of life and circumstances, to follow him? It is Jesus of Nazareth, who is asking us to follow, to love, and to know.
Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him, then told him what the cost would be to follow him.
Jesus asks us to love him and promises to love us, demonstrated by his sacrifice for us.
We’re not asked to “know about Jesus;” we’re asked to know Jesus.
How could Jesus, who talked with and comforted his followers face to face, but now sits with his Father in glory, be someone we know in the fullest sense, personally, intimately, and experientially? “Take my yoke upon you:” he wants to walk beside us, share our burdens, and deal with our temptations to help us overcome our sins; he understands our frame.
The leper knew that Jesus would not only accept him, but would make him clean; we can all relate to that leper in the same way. As one who is walking right along beside us, he can make us clean, and heal, and restore.
Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.
When we serve the Lord Jesus, we serve a living, dynamic, and active Jesus who wants us to be conquerors. This is the same Jesus to whom all authority in heaven and on earth has been given, and he has given us these words: “I am with you always.”
Daniel B-“The Way”
If we cling to God and his principles, they will be a guiding force on our path.
We don’t need to go deeper into the darkness; we need to push our way out. Take stock and see where we’re going, and trust God to make the best plans for us and don’t fight for control of our lives.
It is essential that we work together and keep each other motivated.
The people in Hebrews 11 persevered because they had faith in a great reward.
Jesus was in no way spared of any difficulties; if we are going to be made like Christ, we can expect to be taken through what he was taken through: Jesus is more interested in our character than our comfort.
We can always do better and keep growing.
The angel in Mark 16:7 singled out Peter; God knew Peter needed to revamp his faith.
Jason L-“Jesus As A Follower”
How do we see Jesus as a follower when his call is to “Follow Me?”
It should be the desire of every great leader to follow first.
“Jesus leads at Following.”
Follow, Obey, Replicate.
We follow Christ because he shows us how to follow.
Jesus’ response was always in line with God’s timing.
You do it your way, you stay in the ground and don’t come out.
Jesus was very tight with his words; he doesn’t say there’s any other way.
The Bible is a guide for mankind; you either say “this is true” or “this is false;” there is no middle ground.
To follow Jesus means to walk as he walked.
“Keep the train on the tracks (Acts 2:42).”
The Law of Moses was a guide to “keep the train on the tracks.”
If you want to be a guide to someone, first be a friend to them.
Jonathan M-“Followers In A Group”
When you’re in a team together, you can do a lot more than you can do by yourself.
By yourself, you can be easily broken, but together you can be strong.
You don’t want everybody to have the same skill set.
People in groups can talk forever about the best way to do something, but at the end of the day, sometimes you just need to get it done.
Everybody should be included and have a part on the team; Jesus thinks that everybody has something to offer. Comparisons have to end: fix your eyes on Jesus.
Love is the most excellent way to follow; when you bring love into it, all sorts of problems disappear.
Steve C-“Following Clues”
You would think Israel would have remembered the miracles, but they complained.
All they had to do was look at the bronze snake; maybe God thought that was all they could do.
It will be a wonderful thing to help Christ heal the world.
A shepherd has to be motivated, even when it’s cold, damp, and rainy.
We see in the news people demanding justice; perhaps God is doing that to prepare them for when the Master returns and we’re sent to preach the Word.
Jesus willingly gave his life; how many would give their life for their friends? Not many.
Jesus is our Brother; he knows and understands what we’re going through; when you pray, you don’t have to explain what you’re going through.
Casey O-“Being Followed”
“Surely”—absolutely, without doubt—goodness and mercy shall follow me (Psalm 23:6).
We are not just being followed by goodness and mercy; we are surrounded by it and protected.
There is an “echo” of Psalm 23 in the last two verses of Psalm 138.
Who are my enemies? Thoughts, laziness, self-justification, and so on.
We are God’s handiwork, his poetry, created to do good works in Christ Jesus. How could he forsake his handiwork? He is extraordinarily active in our lives.
Whether we’re worried, repentant, thankful, or joyful, all we need to know is Psalm 139:1, but the Psalmist expands on this thought.
The Syrian army didn’t stand a chance against the LORD’s, and neither do the forces that come against us.
When the world is spinning out of control, God is encircling me.
Welcome that searching an invite God to search even more and ask him to lead you in the way everlasting.
Jonathan M-“Following Bad Leaders”
Not all bad leaders are evil; some are incompetent.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and it can lead to evil decisions.
There are ways to lead from behind.
We’re susceptible to having a bad leader in our brains; we have to have a humble spirit that says “I don’t know everything, I can’t know everything, and I want to learn.”
It’s easy to justify following when it’s comfortable.
We’re doing it wrong if we ever think, “Lord, I’m worn out because you’re here” like Martha did.
Glory: “the huge magnification of things God deserves praise for.”
The “first” Peter said, “you’re not going to suffer;” the “second” Peter says to rejoice in your sufferings.
Jesus says “you don’t have to carry that yoke anymore; come with me and we’re doing something different;” if you take his yoke, you have a different sense of priorities.
It’s not our responsibility to fix everyone else’s problems; trust that God will work in their lives.
You can find inspiration and God’s guidance in some of the most oddball ways.
No two stones are alike until they’re shaped to fit into the house God is building. Don’t be afraid to believe God has an individual plan for you.
Offer sincere prayer and trust that God will reveal the answer to you.
Are you going to follow somebody who’s dead, or who is still alive?
The crux of discipleship: “stay with us (Luke 24:29).”