15 December 2017

RPM part 10

READ:

Verse 11 ‘They followed Jesus.’ 

raI am amongst other things a massive Chelsea F.C. supporter. Now please don’t let that put you off this article as I declare my colours after a magnificent end to the season with the Champions League trophy and F.A. Cup sitting in the Stamford Brigade trophy room. I have followed Chelsea many times to both home games and away, even to Barcelona and to New York Yankee stadium this summer.

We have a song that we sing at the matches:

“We all follow the Chelsea,

Over land and sea (and Leicester)

We all follow the Chelsea

On to victory.”

There is a passion amongst football fans that is unique amongst sports. Loyal fans will follow their team the world over. The drummer seen at Spain’s International football matches has not missed a Spain match in 30 years!

Our text this month is very short. It’s a command to follow Christ and a command that runs much deeper than that of any football following.

I must not take anything for granted, for there may well be some reading this article that are not following Jesus.

You may attend a church, you may have a member’s certificate inside your Bible and even call yourself a believer; you can quote the Bible and attend the best conferences and worship events… but you are not following Him. Now you may or may not want to admit that but that does not change the circumstances. A man can be on a flight to New York and convince himself that he is going to Kenya… he may read the Kenyan travel guide, dress in safari clothing and tell the passengers of his destination but he will still touchdown in JFK. Self-deception does not change your course. (Matthew 7:21-23)

Maybe you are a Church leader, an elder, minister of the Gospel or even a professor holding a doctorate in Divinity; you may be reading this from a much more educated position than the author. You wear a clerical collar perhaps, have a licence to minister and have spent a good thirty years and more known as Rev, Pastor, Elder yet you are not following Christ. If truth be told it has been sometime since you did just that. There are three persons living inside you. The one you think you are, the one other people think you are and the one God knows you are. You avoid the first, exhaust yourself on the second and try to justify the third. You have learned of Jesus in study, spent your life telling others of His love and the need to know Him…but you do not follow Him yourself. You have sacrificed your own relationship with Jesus in order to serve others. That may sound sacrificial, even commendable, but it is foolish. Your foundations are mere sand and when your work is tried by fire it will burn like a timber barn loaded with straw and fuelfilled jerry cans.

I urge you… above all else, follow Christ! If you have become distracted with other things then you must stop. For your own sake and for that of those around you STOP AND FOLLOW CHRIST.

You will never be of use to the Master if you are not following Him. Over ten months of Rejoice Always and some 11,000 words commenting on Luke chapter 5 verses 1-11, these two must be our chief aim: Follow Jesus. We cannot be a witness to the world if we have not witnessed Him today in our own lives.

The word ‘follow’ is a word which signifies a deep sense of attachment. It is not fleeting but steadfast and secure.

It is a calling to be separated unto Christ and to abide with Him. These disciples were to come and live with Him every day, to be associated with Him in every way. They were to be His pupils and become part of His ministry to the world. In the same way He is calling you to join Him in a powerful mission to a lost world. Matthew chapter 4:19 says this, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’

Here is something for us to do: Follow Jesus.

Here is something Jesus will do for us: make us into fishers of men.

We will not grow into fishers ourselves, but that is what Jesus will do for us if we will follow Him.

If you and I want to be useful, and every believer should want to be used by God, here is something for us to do: Follow Jesus. This implies more than study, it is to follow Him in action. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” The instruction is distinct and plain. I do not believe we can become a fisher of men by any other process. You may have completed a course in outreach, attended Bible school, have a snappy web site and a box full of ideas but there is only one great prerequisite to being effective in our witness to the world:

Follow Jesus.

PRAY: Lord Jesus I come to You now, to follow You. I acknowledge You as my Lord and Saviour and I choose from this moment to walk in Your ways, to be set apart for Your purposes. Today I choose to walk with You and put You first in my life. Dear Lord Jesus, as I walk with You, fillmme with Your Holy Spirit that I may be a useful vessel for You in my home and in the marketplace. Teach me Your ways, and use me for Your Glory and fame. I ask this in Jesus name, for His glory and fame. Amen.

MOVE:

Often we are motivated to action but don’t move into action! That will always lead to failure and guilt.

What things do you need to change in response to this message in order to be more effective in your walk with Jesus?

Write down a list of 5 action points, print them out and pop them on your wall beside your bed. Each morning bring the list before God in prayer and look for ways to act on it.

The entire 10 parts of this series are available to upload by visiting www.mitchbelfast.blogspot.com

See you on the lake!

Mitch