Why Do You Follow Jesus?

Heal

If you are new to Growing 4 Life, I want to fill you in briefly on what has been taking place here this past year. We have a 2015 Chronological Bible Reading Challenge going on and we have just entered the New Testament. Over the past year, I have spent most Thursdays writing about what we are reading in our challenge. I plan to do that through the end of this year. By the way, this would be a great time for you to join us since we are only a week into our New Testament reading. You can finish out the year with us. Click here for more information.

I am really excited to finally be in the New Testament and reading about the life of my Savior. This morning’s reading was from the gospels and was about Jesus healing the multitude (Matthew 12:15; Luke 6:17-19). I found myself wondering what it must have been like to be part of that group of people. Can you imagine if there was a man who was healing people –like really healing them? Wouldn’t you do everything in your power to visit him if you were terminally ill? Or if your child or sister or father was suffering from cancer or mental illness? This man would provide the quick fix our human hearts long for. Healing would mean relief from the pain and anxiety that accompanies any illness.

This helps us to understand why the multitude followed so passionately after Jesus. They naturally longed for relief from their physical ailments and struggles.

But what I find really interesting is the fact that the adoration of this multitude (that was given a miraculous respite from their worry and pain) was rather short-lived. It would seem that as soon as they were no longer benefiting, most turned away (John 6:66). Where were all of those who were healed on the day that Jesus was crucified? Why weren’t they crying for his release?

Of course, He couldn’t have been released or there would be no sacrifice for sins and we would have no way to be reconciled to God. Nevertheless, I do find myself wondering about the fickle multitude who passionately clung to Him when they could get something they wanted from Him and who wanted nothing to do with Him when it would cost them.

Perhaps the followers of Jesus still do this very thing today.

What is keeping us dedicated to serving Jesus? Is it because we are hoping that He will give us all of our desires? Is it about the material wealth or freedom from disease that some {false} teachers would promise? Perhaps it is because we long for the peace and joy that seems to constantly eludes us?

But if this is why we are serving Jesus then when things get a little rough, we will walk away. When we go through a spell where we don’t “feel” like He is there, we will search elsewhere for some other quick-fix. And when we are teased or persecuted for our faith, we will determine it’s not worth the cost.

How critical to remember that Jesus didn’t come to make us rich. Or to make us happy. He didn’t die on the cross to make us comfortable or healthy. He died to reconcile us to God. A miraculous, merciful, and amazing rescue. To save us from our sinful selves. We deserve nothing but hell. And yet, God in His infinite grace and mercy, made a way for us to be saved.

I know that there are so many of us who are serving Christ passionately because we love Him. We find ourselves full of gratitude for the grace and mercy we have been shown and we want to please Him with our lives. But even we can get a little off-track sometimes, can’t we? We can be tempted to give up or to be quiet. We can consider our reputation as more important than our witness and our relationships or jobs or worldly desires as more important than the truth we read in the Word of God.

So how do we stay strong when others cave? How do we keep our eyes on Jesus and stop worrying so much about our own comfort and feelings?

I know of no other way to stand against temptation than being in the Word. When I am immersed in the Word and I am taking time for prayer, God gives me strength to keep my eyes on Jesus. When I have grown lazy or too busy, I tend to cave and become self-absorbed.

Oh, how essential it is that we stay in the Word regularly, learning to know God and growing in our faith. How important that we pray, petitioning our Father for a thirst for righteousness and a hatred of evil. We need to ask Him to give us a hunger for His Word and a discerning heart and mind, so that we can sort through all of the false doctrine that abounds today. Only through prayer and studying the Word will we be able to keep the right priorities as we live out our Christian faith.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Why Do You Follow Jesus?

  1. God bless you, and thank you. We need to be continually reminded of these truths. I will be using the lesson today in my SS class and ladies Bible study. And telling all about your web site. Your encouragement is gratefully accepted.

  2. Thank You, deeply touched by this post, and I plan to join your Bible reading, Thank you again for all your hard work.

  3. Thank you
    You are an amazing women!!! I’m new to your posts, I’m a very sinful person,I feel lost , I don’t know how I get drifted away so. Battleling life? I just want to say Thank you again, I needed this so much.I want Jesus as close to us as though he would still be on earth, WE CAN HAVE THAT, I DO BELIEVE!!!!! AMEN

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