When you are born, you don’t stop growing. You typically grow leaps and bounds. Even as you move into childhood you are still growing. Yet for our faith, we see evident in many cases where a person was willing to die to themselves but never came alive in Jesus Christ. We died to ourselves sure, but we never started growing or developing in our faith. We came to the conclusion that the one time prayer we made was sufficient for our bare minimum mentality. We never chose to Follow.
Yet following is the idea behind our relationship with Jesus Christ. The one time prayer flippantly turns our salvation into a life insurance card that only keeps us out of hell. A relationship with Jesus means that we follow Him daily and our lives are transformed and renewed. When we follow, we are shaped into the person God intended for us by following Christ and becoming more like Him.
People will see the difference too. The laws in the Old Testament had the affect of setting apart the Israelites from the rest of the world and culture. This was the idea, too, of being set apart and different. Through their actions the way they treated others, and the expression of their faith in their day to day lives, the people around them noticed the change in their behavior and that God was with them. Likewise, when we follow Jesus, people will see the difference between ourselves and the culture at large as the Holy Spirit works within us. There will be a change in our behavior becase we have changed our behavior to fit with the actions of Jesus Christ.
Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, He issued the clarion call to those who followed Him. These words have become known as the Great Commission and have spurred to advance the gospel into many nations and unreached groups. There is this emphasis on that imperative “Go” to charge and energize the people for missionary work. Yet, in the Greek, “Go” although it can be translated as an imperative, is not the thrust of the sentence. The Greek word fo Go used in the verse is a participle. The main thrust and imperative of the verse comes a few words down “make disciples.”
The translation I use for people, taking into account that “Go” is a participle and not the imperative (yet is still a vital component) is the following:
“And as you are going ,and you are definitely going, make disciples…”
The heart of the Great Commission is not that we stay where we are sitting idly, we are going. Nor is it that we are going in our own strength and mission. The heart of the Great Commission is that that disciples would be made around the globe, even where we live. This is not to downplay those who have given up their lives, uprooted homes, and gone to other countries for the same of the Gospel, but that everyone is under the same charge. Wherever you are called, as you leave the safety of the church gathered, you are to live and display a faith that people want to follow. Some of us are called to be missionaries Uganda, India, Russia, and other countries. Others are called to be missionaries to our local grocery story. But everyone is called to Follow and everyone is called to make disciples. We are all called to live out our faith in a way that others can see it and know it is worth following. That you would do for people what Paul did for the the church in Corinth,
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1
Christianity involves no less that three generations. We, with others, follow Christ, as others follow us, as long as we are following Christ. As people see us, they should see the hand of God working in and through us. As they follow us, they should be following God. We point to God in our thoughts, speech, and action, knowing that we are Following the High King who has saved us from death.
Question for Thought What is the most difficult part of living a faith that others will follow and how have you overcome this in your life? Feel free to comment your thoughts below or email at firstname.lastname@example.org