Will You Follow Jesus?

"His disciples follow him." Mark 6:1

Lavern Gingerich

It's so easy to give undue attention to things that really don't matter. The important things in life are often neglected and forgotten. Yet a single decision can change the eternal destiny of your soul. Are you puzzled how to discern what is really important to Jesus Christ? Have you ever wondered what He really wants from you? You can know! His invitation to you is, "Come and learn of Me."

Early in his ministry, Jesus was saying, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel… follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (See Matthew 4:17, 19; Mark 1:15, 17; Luke 5:27; John 1:43). Repent, believe, follow. These three things are vital to anyone who would be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Many so-called Christians "believe" the gospel, but they fail to repent of (turn away from) their sins, and they are not willing to follow Jesus with all their hearts and make Him Lord of their lives!

One who follows Jesus Christ is His disciple. A disciple learns instruction from his Master, then he follows these instructions. A disciple walks with Jesus. He thinks and believes like Jesus. He obeys, observes, and acts in conformity to Jesus. He keeps his eyes fixed on Jesus and fervently pursues Him as his only object of desire. He adheres to, honors, worships, and serves Jesus, all the time keeping in step with his Hero.

A disciple is a citizen of a Heavenly country, so he doesn't fit in with all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. He flees these things and follows after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness (1 Timothy 6:11). He turns his back on sin and looks to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1, 2).

A disciple follows his Master's example in practical areas of life. 1 Peter 2:21-23 says, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." Jesus came to Earth as a human being, yet He never sinned. He came to show us how to live; now we are called to walk as he walked (1 John 2:5, 6).

A disciple follows his Master all the time, wherever He goes (Revelation 14:4). In John 10, Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd, and those who follow Him are His sheep. He is a kind, loving Shepherd and longs for a close relationship with each one of His sheep. To experience this, a disciple must spend time with his Master and keep his Master's commandments.

A disciple loves the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). In Mark 12, a poor widow put two mites into the offering. She gave all she had while the rich people put in of their abundance. Many people try to serve the Lord, but they give Him their extra love, time, and money, etc. Jesus wants everything!

A disciple loves others as himself. Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). We are commanded to love others as Jesus loved us. The world can easily identify disciples by their love for one another.

A disciple serves His Master with commitment. In Exodus 21, the Lord says, "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.... And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master... I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him... unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever." This is the way disciples of Jesus Christ live. Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31). There is no salvation for the disciple who turns back and forsakes his Master.

A disciple denies himself and takes up his cross daily. His Master has full control of his life, and self no longer has any rights. He joins his Master in the reproach, persecution, and pain that come to those who will be true disciples. He is willing to lay down anything, even his physical life, for Jesus.

A disciple hears the call of Jesus to forsake all and answers, "Yes, Lord" (Luke 14:31-33). The "American Dream" is no longer his pursuit, but he willingly lays down extravagance, so he can throw all his energies and resources into the battle for the souls of men.

A disciple bears fruit. Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8). Jesus is the Vine, and we are the branches. Disciples who abide in Jesus, bear much fruit for Him.

Here is a path for us to walk on. Will you join the true disciples on this road to eternal life? Discipleship includes every area of our lives. We cannot serve two masters. Let's choose to be bond slaves forever and pour out all we have on Jesus, as Mary anointed Him with perfume (Matthew 26:7). He is worthy of more than we can ever give Him!