Sunday, July 23, 2017

Follow the Leader

Remember playing “follow the leader” when you were a kid? While working at a roller rink during my late teens, I occasionally played that game with the younger skaters. They followed me around the rink copying exactly what I was doing.

On social media sites, entertainers usually have the greatest number of followers. Let’s look at the top five on Instagram…
  1. Taylor Swift: 49.6 million followers
  2. Kim Kardashian: 48.1 million followers 
  3. Beyonce: 47.2 million followers 
  4. Selena Gomez: 45.9 million followers 
  5. Ariana Grande: 44.6 million followers 
Now look at the five most followed people on Twitter (according to…
  1. Katy Perry: 101,038,793 follower
  2. Justin Bieber: 92,035,447 followers
  3. Barack Obama: 91,940,321 followers
  4. Taylor Swift: 85,432,857 followers
  5. Rihanna: 75,338,688 followers
Everybody follows somebody. A person with a huge amount of followers doesn’t mean he or she is worth following. Adolf Hitler amassed millions of devotees before triggering World War II resulting in much death and destruction.

In Matthew 15:14, Jesus labelled the Pharisees “blind leaders of the blind.” Often when I’m evangelizing, I advise people to read the Bible for themselves and not blindly accept what other individuals say about Scripture. Cult leaders have deceived followers into making decisions that had detrimental results.

There is only one person we must ultimately follow. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV), “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” During altar calls for salvation, a popular hymn often sung is “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”

What does it really mean to follow Jesus? One of them is letting go of worldly pursuits. Matthew gave up his job a tax collector to follow Jesus. Luke 5:11 says, So when they [Peter, James, and John] had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” The Lord is not against us having certain things unless they hinder our relationship with Him and the call He has for our lives. At the time I became a Christian, I was involved in a network marketing business. The Lord eventually instructed me to leave that business and go into ministry. 

Many other people became followers of Jesus after seeing Him perform healings and miracles…

So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him. - Matthew 20:34

“Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.” - John 6:2

During His earthly ministry, Jesus had many followers but really few friends. In certain situations, He was selective with those allowed a closer association with Him. When Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, Mark 5:37 said, “And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.” Those same three disciples were with Jesus during the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17.

The rich young ruler in Matthew 19 was invited to follow Jesus but was ruled more by his riches. Following Jesus’ arrest,“…Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard.” (Matthew 26:58) Those not walking in the Spirit will only follow the Lord when things are comfortable.

Are you just a follower or a friend of Jesus? Jesus said in John 15:14, You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” The first step is truly being His friend is becoming born again. Jesus also said in Matthew 10:38, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Following Jesus comes with a cost but the rewards are worth it now and for eternity.

And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” - Revelation 19:14

No comments:

Post a Comment