Summary: 1 of 4 of the series In Pursuit: The Jesus Walk. When we say we are followers of Christ what are we really saying? This message uncovers the first step in walking the Jesus Walk.
TAKING THE FIRST STEP
READ AT BEGINNING OF SERVICE:
Luke 9:23 (NIV)
23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
As a parent I’ve noticed something interesting taking place in the relationship between my son Zachary and I as he gets closer to the age of 1 ½ years. I’ve noticed that Zachary watches me like a hawk! How do I know this? Because every now and then when I least expect it – Zachary does something totally out of the blue that makes me think I’m looking in the mirror! As my wife likes to point out to me, if it’s something nasty that Zachary does then it he is imitating me! But all the sweet things Zachary does are a spitting image of his mother!!
One day, I was praying in the sanctuary and Zachary was with me. When I pray I like to walk around and often I’ll find myself weaving through each aisle between the chairs and raising my hands in worship to God. As some of you know, Zachary loves to play drums – often when I’m at the church I’ll let Zachary play the drums while I’m doing other things. On this particular day when I started praying, Zachary was on the drums and then a short while later I noticed that I wasn’t hearing any loud noises! I thought I’d just peek around for Zachary while I was weaving in and out of the chairs and then I found him following behind me – imitating me! He was walking the same, he had his little hands raised in the air, he was speaking some mumbo-jumbo (I assume he was trying to speak what I was saying, and he was in step behind me. Folks, children imitate their parents. They watch you like hawks – this reality was made vividly clear to me on that day not to long ago with Zachary. The funny thing is – they don’t always imitate the best qualities of their parents… If someone were to look at our lives this morning who would we resemble in our walk? You see there is a walk that every one of us takes in life. This walk determines how we live our lives, what we stand for, and what we stand against. Does you walk resemble Jesus? Or are you mimicking or imitating someone or something else entirely – or even are you trying to walk an "original" walk? I want to talk with you today about "Following Jesus"
Following Jesus is serious business but we’ve made it big business. Today the trend is to wear the right gear with the right message on it. Such as the WWJD paraphernalia. It is plastered on everything, caps, T-shirts, key rings, bracelets, earrings, bumper stickers, sunglasses, lunch bags, notebooks, bible covers, cups, pens, pencils, and screen savers, all for the purpose of declaring who we ought to be imitating.
Why you can even get a WWJD game that is intended to challenge you to look at the role of Jesus Christ in your life. It comes with 600 thought provoking questions about life’s everyday dilemma’s and how we are to respond to them.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to wearing or using these items. But the question needs to be asked, "Is that all there is to following Jesus?" We wear the gear, sing the songs, and attend the services hoping that we are following Jesus.
Could it be that in our attempts to follow Jesus in our thoughts, words and deeds we have sprayed graffiti on His face covering Him up to the point we really don’t know what it is to biblically follow Christ? And in doing so others really don’t see Jesus in us, because we have intentionally or unintentionally followed ourselves.
For the next four weeks we are going to examine the scriptures to discover afresh what it means to follow Jesus – to be IN PURSUIT of Him and to walk the JESUS WALK. As you hear the words being spoken ask yourselves, Who or what is it I’m pursing in my life? Who or what am I imitating or mimicking as I walk?
Today I’d like to talk about taking the first step – what it is "To Follow Jesus"
Matthew 4:18-19 (NIV)
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
If Jesus were to walk up to you and say, "Follow Me." Would You?