Thursday, February 22, 2007

following Jesus

I was enjoying the words to Michael Card's album, A Fragile Stone on the life of Peter. Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed is starting a series for Lent on Mary and Peter following Jesus.

Following Jesus, both individually, and together in him, is so central to who we are in Jesus, and our calling in this world. I am convinced that God puts, or allows some difficult and challenging things in our lives, not only to test and strengthen our faith, but to test and strengthen our commitment, in love, to follow the Lord, in our lives.

We will find ourselves in places where we know, left to ourselves, there is no hope. Or maybe in areas in which we're already failing. Or experiencing something that is humbling to us. All of this is really to help us learn that there is one thing we must do. "Follow me."

And in the words of Michael Card:
The only gamble is to act on the belief
That only the slave who leaves it all is truly free
Let's seek to follow Christ closely, all the way. Knowing too, that he'll always be there for us, to seek us, when we go astray. Even as he so wonderfully did with Peter.

What thoughts would you like to add here?

10 comments:

andre said...

Ted,

This is so timely. Last night, we had our family devotional time and we discussed what it means to follow Jesus - essentially to live a life of repentance and faith in Christ. We first enter into a new life in Christ by repentance and faith but it doesn't end there. A mark of a believer is to continue in repentance and trust in Christ.

Thanks for your post

Charity Singleton said...

In my Bible study on Galatians last night, we talked about how the gospel message, the message that first caused us to follow Jesus, is one we need to preach to ourselves everyday. Following Jesus is an uncertain calling; we need to remember who we're following in order for it to make any sense.

Ted Gossard said...

Andre, So true. As we received Christ as Lord, we're to continue in him, as Paul says in Colossians. Repentance and faith is certainly ongoing.

Wonderful to hear about your family devotions, and talking about that together.

Ted Gossard said...

Charity, Great point! And so often missed. To remember we're following Christ, means the goal is Christ-ward. Helps put things into perspective as we hold on to that (Php 3 comes to my mind here, as well). Thanks.

Kim said...

Well said, Ted. I guess for me following Jesus has come to mean "how much can I be like Him?" In other words, He did not come to judge the world, so I should not. He was tempted in every way and yet remained Christlike. That's a goal for me...when tested, remain Christlike. He was strength...He said, "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you strength." I want to be strength to those around me (not a drain on the emotions as I have been previously). And so on...As I pursue Him, it becomes apparent that I have very little ability to really be like Him. That's why day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment I come to the conclusion that I need a Savior. I think that's what is meant by "when I am weak, then I am strong." Peace, Kim

Ted Gossard said...

Kim, Yes. I think a key point here is simply to continue to follow.

The disciples in the gospels could have stopped any number of times, due to discouragement in their not getting it, or failing. But the Savior kept them keeping on.

This is so important for us. That we would not quit, even when feeling overwhelmed. But we would continue to seek to follow.

I'm thinking about posting something tomorrow, or real soon on following him together as community. On Jesus Creed today, the conversation there has jogged me in that direction. http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=2076

Your thoughts are so true. Thanks.

Susan said...

Hi, I have never posted here before but I have been visiting often. A friend of mine, a Christian, started a web page today. She asked me what I thought of it on a Christian prespective. She has been struggling, she has a heart of gold. Is asking for help in this manner wrong? (Cyber begging?)
www.onerandomact.blogspot.com
She is not asking for cash. Just asking that you request an insurnce qoute. I don't know what to tell her. Thanks, Susan

Ted Gossard said...

Hi Susan, I'm not a legal expert, nor an expert on finances and helping people out of their financial problems.

I don't personally see anything wrong with what your friend is doing, though again I don't know legalities on it. It seems perfectly above board. I think companies do pay to get people to click their ads, or links.

And I don't see this as wrong, myself. I do think God directs his children over time when we are amiss in some financial venture. But to be venturing itself, as in the woman in Proverbs 31, is not wrong. Though I would want to consider the product I'm promoting directly or indirectly. And its benefit for others.

Blessings on you and your friend!

Susan said...

Thank You for helping to put my mind at rest.

Ted Gossard said...

Susan, You're very welcome. God's grace and peace be with you.