This post is part of a 9-part series called Extraordinary Pastor, Ordinary Follower of Jesus. You can watch the introduction video here.
Part 9 – Are You An Admirer of Jesus or a Follower?
As we’ve explored the story of Jesus calling his original disciples in Luke 5, the obvious question becomes are you one? Are you a disciple of Jesus? A true follower of Jesus? And the obvious question is are you one? Soren Kierkegaard once said, “To become an ‘admirer of Jesus’ is much easier than to become a follower of Jesus.” He’s right. Many Christians follow Christ like they follow their favorite baseball team or stock investments. They check in on occasion to see what’s going on. They look at the highlights in church or peek at the bible when there’s time. They admire him from a distance. But this certainly isn’t the kind of followership that Christ calls for from his true disciples.
Are you a disciple or have you settled for being an admirer? What does a modern-day disciple look like anyway? It looks similar to those original disciples who had to make a decision next to their boats that day. The call to follow Jesus is not just a call to try really hard to avoid certain behaviors. It is a call to enter in to a life of wise training seeking to imitate our rabbi Jesus in every area of life. We are learning from him. We are following him. We are sharing his love and grace with others. We are consulting him on decisions, we are prioritizing our relationship with him over all others, we are letting him inform our relationships. That’s a Christian. John says in his first epistle “whoever claims to live in him, must walk as Jesus did” (I John 2:6).
To follow Jesus means you have to trust Him. This doesn’t mean just trusting him to get you into heaven when you die. It means trusting that he’s right about everything. You can’t say, “Jesus I trust that you’ll get me into heaven, but I don’t trust that you’re right about how to handle my money, or my relationships, or my priorities.” He’s right about everything.
Two things that hold you back from following Jesus.
- Here are some common signs of immaturity:
- It’s about me, not them.
- It’s about what I get, not what I give.
- It’s about how I’m served, not how I serve.
- It’s about what I want, not about what others need.
- It’s all the same stuff babies think about … themselves!
- So many people have believed the lie that God could never want someone like them or use someone like them after all that they have done. I remind you that he has used murderers and adulterers and perverts and cynics and people far worse than you for all of time – he can certainly use you!
You have the opportunity to live the life you were designed by God to live. It’s the chance of a lifetime. Jesus did not die so that you could live a mediocre life. He did not die so that you could just barely make it through the week. Ordinary lives become extraordinary in the hands of God.
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