Jesus Is Followed - Jeff's Story

This week we will be hearing from five different writers – all who grew up at Immanuel and are now on staff here.

“Jesus Follower” has become the current term to describe one who has received forgiveness for their sins and become a member of God’s family. So, what does it mean to be a Jesus follower?

First, we have to look at who is leading. It is Jesus. How can we follow someone we can’t see? Well, we have to look at the only picture we have, which is scripture. Have you looked deeply into scripture to see who it is you are following?  What was Jesus like?  What did he do? Where did he go? What was important to him?  If we think following Jesus is just going to church, we better think again. Most of what Jesus did in His time on earth happened outside the walls of the temple. Jesus spent time with sinners, He cared deeply about the poor, He was a strong opponent of religious hypocrisy. Following Jesus is not about being religious. Religious people were Jesus’ strongest opponents. Following Jesus is about doing what He did and loving what He loved.

In Luke 5, each person “left everything” and followed Jesus. Perhaps the reason it is so difficult to follow Jesus is because we are carrying too much baggage. Have you left behind prejudices, grudges, lack of forgiveness?  Are you still not forgiving yourself for things He has already forgiven you for?  What are you hanging on to that is slowing you down in your following of Jesus?

Finally, to follow means that we have to let someone else take the lead. We can’t follow from the front. When I was in high school, I was on the cross-country team. In most races, I was following faster runners the whole race. However, I remember one race where I found myself in the front of the pack. I wasn’t prepared -- I had never been there before. I didn’t know what to do except keep running. Why do I tell you that? Because we are not equipped to lead our own lives. When I take charge, I realize I am unprepared. God sees the big picture and knows everything that is going to happen before it happens, so why not let Him take the lead? It is easier to stay on the right path if we are following the One who created it.

This week as you are attempting to follow Jesus, let Him lead. Don’t move ahead of Him and then ask Him to bless your plans. Really let Him lead. If you are not getting answers to questions, be patient and trust while you wait. He wants what is best for you and wants to lead you into an incredible adventure!

By Jeff Story

Jeff is on the Missions team at Immanuel and has been serving here for the last 8 years. He has been a Jesus Follower for 52 years and in the ministry for 40 years. He and his wife, Rhonda, are blessed with two wonderful children and 2 grandchildren with a 3rd on the way.

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