Why We Need a Better Way to Follow Jesus

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February 3, 2021

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

CONSIDER THIS

How do you follow Jesus?

Maybe I should ask that differently. Do you follow Jesus? And if so, how? 

I know you probably “believe” in Jesus, but what does that really mean to you? You believe he existed. You believe he is the Son of God. You believe he died for your sins and rose from the grave. You believe he is at the right hand of God. 

Great, but do you follow him, and if so, how? 

Does following him mean you keep the golden rule and try to be a good person? Does it mean you try to read your bible and pray every day? Does it mean you go to church (whatever that means anymore)? Does it mean you do stuff at church, like study the Bible, and go to prayer meetings and tithe and help people in need? 

All that is great, but is that what it means to follow Jesus? Musn’t it be more than right beliefs and best practices and a goodhearted sense of “Jesus loves me” loyalty? 

So here’s what I think it means to follow Jesus. It means to become the kind of person that Jesus would be if Jesus were you. Isn’t that what Paul gets at in today’s text?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Said another way—following Jesus means becoming his disciple, which is to say a student of his life—past, present, and future. It means learning to see how he sees, think like he thinks, speak like he speaks, even feel what he feels. It means learning to read the text like he reads the text; remembering the story in the way he remembers the story and imagining the future in the way he imagines the future. To follow Jesus means to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. It means to be filled with such a quality and quantity of love it can be neither contained nor explained. According to Scripture, following Jesus means being possessed of his mind, animated by his Spirit, infused with his power, and compelled by his love.

In this light, following Jesus bears little resemblance to believing the right things, engaging the best practices, and behaving the right ways. Two words from the Apostle John are instructive at this point:

[B]ut whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:5-6 ESV)

and

By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. (1 John 4:17 ESV)

Following Jesus is not about diving into the deep end of the pool in search of some kind of noumenal spiritual-ish relationship with the second person of the Trinity. No. It is walking “in the same way in which he walked.” It means the perfect love of God becoming completely at home in imperfect people.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Here’s the good news. We know how he walked in this world we now find ourselves in. We have four Holy Spirit-inspired texts we call Gospels. We must learn to read them at another level if we are to walk as he walked. They must become less book and more map. We will make camp there tomorrow. 

THE PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want this to become the core truth and reality of my life: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Come Holy Spirit and open the eyes of my heart. Lead me in this everlasting way. For your glory. For my good. Your name, Jesus. Amen. 

THE QUESTION

What if following Jesus were much simpler than you thought? And what if it were much more comprehensive, and even consuming? Would you be willing to trade a “thin-ash” version of following Jesus for a much thicker and more robust approach? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

Today, and every Wednesday at noon central time, we gather on a global Zoom call to sow together for a great awakening in prayer. It is powerful. Would you join us today? ZOOM LINK HERE.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that in order to fully actualize today’s Daily Text, we’ve had to experience the transformation of the new birth that should have taken place in the sacrament of Holy Baptism. That’s when the. Old Adam should have been drowned and we were then raised to new life in Christ. Without this spiritual transformation occurring, we have a form of outward religious appearance, but lacking true spiritual power within. This same power is said by Paul to be the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the grave. This is in my opinion, is the reason those of us who were baptized as infants have a real problem “remembering our baptism “. Therefore the deep need for an awakening.

  2. Following Jesus means being possessed of his mind, animated by his Spirit, infused with his power, and compelled by his love. I could not have said it better! My heart, my desire is for Jesus to shine through my personality and giftings. I have hungered for the fruit that I lack. For our goodness is nothing unless it is fuel by agape. I have practiced loving my enemies, being kind to those who persecute me. BUT, truthfully, agape is a love that has no bounds and is very vulnerable. When you turn your cheek, you still feel the blow. I think the truth of agape is not based in the loving of others, but in the constant forgiving and in the choosing to take no offense!

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