Summary: Why did you decide to become a Christian? What was it that put you over the top and made you decide to follow Him? And then I want to know, why do you continue to follow Him?
As I was sitting in my office Tuesday, thinking about today’s message, which I have titled, “Why do we follow Christ?” a song came on the radio by Chris Tomlin by the name of “I Will Follow.”
I thought, thanks God for that conformation!
The words of the song are very powerful.
Where you go, I'll go Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move I will follow...
All your ways are good All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone Higher than my side
High above my life I will trust in you alone
Where you go, I'll go. Where you stay, I'll stay.
When you move, I'll move. I will follow you.
Who you love, I'll love. How you serve I'll serve.
If this life I lose, I will follow you I will follow you.
Light unto the world Light unto my life
I will live for you alone You're the one I seek
Knowing I will find All I need in you alone, in you alone
In you there's life everlasting In you there's freedom for my soul In you there joy, unending joy and I will follow.
This is an interesting question for us to ponder. The question, what draws us to Christ and why do we follow Him?
We will get back to that song in a minute or two.
Please take your Bible’s in hand and repeat this prayer with me.
Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my minds so I can understand your Word.
And, open my heart so I may receive all that You would have me receive.
All of us here today are either already following Jesus or we are seeking and searching and deciding to follow Him.
Following Jesus is a day-by-day journey, which includes relying on Him to lead the way. At times, following Jesus can be a difficult thing to do. There are a plethora of things in our world that are trying to compete for our attention and loyalty. Many of which are easier to do.
I have always said that it takes a stronger man or woman to follow Christ than it does to not follow Christ. Following Christ means that you are living for something bigger than yourself. It means that we have to watch what we do and what we say.
What does it mean to follow Christ?
There are three key elements to following Christ.
1. You need to have a desire to follow Him.
READ Matthew 4:24-25
24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. Matthew 4:24-25
The Bible says that large crowds followed Jesus. They had a desire to do so.
Some desired to follow Jesus because of all the miracles that He was performing.
Their desire was based upon the excitement of what was happening and their desire was based upon what they might get from Him. Maybe Jesus would heal them or bless them or turn their water into wine or multiply their fish and bread.
They were following Jesus for the wrong reasons.
Some followed Jesus out of curiosity. They heard the stories about Jesus from others and they wanted to see for themselves what was going on. They did not follow Jesus because they wanted to commit themselves to Him but rather they followed to satisfy their curiosity.
Some followed Jesus because they hated Him. Most of the people who hated Jesus were the Pharisees and Sadducees. They wanted to end His life and shut Him up.
They didn’t care what He was saying or what He was doing. To them His message was trouble and they could not accept it. They listened and took notes only because their desire was to destroy Him.
But there were some others who followed Jesus and they did so for the right reason.
They heard what He had to say. They witnessed what He was able to do and they were drawn to Him. They wanted to get to know Him better. They wanted to be friends with Him. They wanted Him to be a part of their life and they wanted to be a part of His.
The followed Him because they loved Him.
Even after they heard what it would cost them to follow, they still wanted to follow.
Jesus told them what it would cost them, 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34