Now Playing: Who are we following ?
There are many well-known personalities who are imitated, often by the young in our modern culture. But what pattern should we be following? When the Lord Jesus called His disciples,He said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him". (Matthew 4:19-20) The Saviour made some forceful statements when He was here on earth, "Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead" (Matthew 8:22), "He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me" Matthew 10:38), "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24), "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me". (Matthew 19:21), "As He (Jesus) passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed Him" (Mark 2:14), "When He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34).
He also said in Luke's gospel, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23). "When Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me" (Luke 18:22). "Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in" (Luke 22:10).
Likewise in John's gospel, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27). "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will my Father honour" (John 12:26). "Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards" (John 13:36). "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me" (John 21:22).
We are also given instruction in the epistles of Paul, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" (Romans 14:19), and "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14), and "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men" (1 Thessalonians 5:15), and "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God" (3 John 11), and "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22), and "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children". (Ephesians 5:1)
Paul could also say, as led of the Spirit, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1), and "Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost" (1 Thessalonians 1:6), and "Ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen" (1 Thessalonians 2:14)
Likewise Paul said, "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness" (1 Timothy 6:11), and "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12), and "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12), and "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation" (Hebrews 13:7)
Peter remember the One who had called him to follow the Saviour, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Peter 1:16), and "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
We can close with a promise, "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?" (1 Peter 3:13). We may suffer for Christ down here, but if we follow Him, no one can take away from us anything of eternal value!