How To Follow Jesus By Taking Five Major Steps On His Narrow Way

Today’s current Christian faith has withered down to “give me what I like and want spiritually”, “feed me”, “make me feel better about myself”, “make worship so good that it builds me up and makes me excited”, “my God accepts me like I am”, “I will go to the church that fulfills my family’s needs, as I see them” and “do not beg for money, I want to spend my money how I want!”.

Selfishness and pleasure have become the driving force, the purpose, in most religious peoples lives. This is hypocrisy! Paul warned us of this terrible day long ago:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJ)

There is much evidence that the majority of American Christians live this way. Divorce is just as high in Christian homes as the atheists. Many teens are brutal and think violence is funny. Teen rebellion is normal. Everyone claims they can’t help what their doing, obviously there is no self-control.

No one has time to devote themselves to winning their city for Christ because they are so busy getting rich and having fun! The list goes on. This is not the way of life that the Lord Jesus or his first disciples lived.

Instead “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20 NKJ). The first disciples [Christians] followed Him and learned how to work for God.

Have you forgot His words, “‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men'”? (Matthew 4:19 NKJ)

Remember he also warned, “…whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?” (Luke 14:33-34 NKJ)

The Lord Jesus Christ was driven by God’s purposes and called Christians to follow him and do the same things. When asked by people what was the most important thing to do, He replied:

1/ “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt 22:36-38 NKJ)

What does this mean in real life?

Loving God with your whole being is different than loving yourself and pleasure [even spiritual pleasure]! Worship is for God not you! It is not to make you happy, excited or to be spiritually fulfilled! Worship is to glorify God! To make God happy! To make God exalted in your eyes! To lift Him up to the heights He deserves before your eyes so that you will truly bow before Him, obey Him, and serve Him!

True love and worship of God is to make His Word so important you actually follow His ways!

Jesus lived to make God the Father satisfied, not himself. He lived to do what His Father instructed him to do. He worshipped the Father by laying down his life for the world.

2/ Next, he served the people of the world while he lived.  He served them by dying for them. This is the heart of the second purpose!

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Christ showed this when He fed them, healed them, washed their feet, and directed them into active love for God and man. The Christian life is to care for others, not become so busy getting rich and self-centered you disobey the directions of God!

Christ calls all of us, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” This means to change your schedule! Clear your calendar! Get to your local church every week to worship and encourage fellow believers!

It means to prove your love for God and others is real, not just words. Volunteer to take on responsibility as your leaders guide you!

Help the pastor get the gospel message out by sacrificially giving financial aid and physically working to spread the word!

“Seek first the kingdom of God.” Make it a priorty to build up God’s kingdom!

How do we do this?

The next three purposes are commanded to us by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 28:19,20… “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

3/ Go and make disciples! Increase the population of God’s kingdom by making disciples just like the ones Jesus made. I know this is not like the majority of the so-called Christians of today. They are full of themselves! Few make any effort to obey the God of heaven.

Few really try to build God’s kingdom.

In fact, if they happen to go to a church service, even weekly, they think they have obeyed and completed a big favor for God. It is your obligation to go to weekly worship meetings. It is your obligation to invite and bring others with you. It is your obligation to try with all of your heart, mind, strength, and soul to obey God.

It is your obligation because “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”

4/ Christ further says that he purposed us to “baptize them [the new converts].” If you look in Acts, the history of the new church, you find that baptism is not a religious symbol separated from the everyday church society of Christians, anymore than a wedding band is independent from a marriage relationship. It was a public announcement of leaving the old culture and joining this new family of committed people serving God.

It is not for your personal, religious comfort or enjoyment. It is for a change of direction for life, in the same way a marriage ceremony is a total change in the lives of two individuals who join in holy matrimony.

5/ Finally, the last purpose is a family related responsibility for all Christians: “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”

Become an example and a teacher! Help others learn what God wants of them. Show them how to follow God’s purposes. Commit yourself to do 100% of what God says to do. Do not retreat or get lazy.

Plug yourself in now! Do it for God, not yourself! Prove that you really love God and are not just trying to get a free ticket out of hell!

Remember:
1. Love God with a100% effort, include everything you are and have
2. Love your neighbors by sharing your life, time and things with them
3. Like a fisherman, try to catch fish [people for Jesus] and help your church grow
4. Once caught become their friends and family
5. Teach them how to follow Jesus too!