Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Simple Direction In Life: FOLLOW CHRIST

From nervousness, to confusion, even looking at what others have written here, preparing a devotional read for the following bible texts was interesting. Many thoughts paraded my mind because writing this seemed like a major life changing event for me. Life changing, how could writing a devotional seem life changing? The content was preparation for a devastating phone call I got later on about a person I’ve shared Christ with. When faced with big life changing events in our lives, what should be the focal point of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?

In Genesis 23, Abraham faced a big life changing event; the death of his wife Sarah. Chapter 24 describes more of life’s challenges as Abraham’s chief servant takes a pledge to find Isaac a wife, among Abraham’s kindred and country. I’m sure this guy had to be a little frightened by such a big task at hand. Then Isaac meets his wife Rebekah, another big life changing event.

Matthew 8 makes it more evident, a leper in need to be clean from his leprosy, another desiring to go with Jesus anywhere, Peter’s mother-in-law who lay sick, and even a man possessed with demons coming into contact with Jesus Christ. Oh yes, these are serious, life changing circumstances. These things have the potential of producing fear, depression, frustration, nervousness, while looking to others for help. There has to be direction which the believer in Christ can turn to. There is! That direction is to FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST, to follow God Almighty.

Genesis 24:12, Abrahams servant sought for this direction. He prays to the Lord of his master to show him basically the direction in which he is to go, where to follow God at. In verse 22 of Matthew, a similar direction, Jesus Christ admonishes a disciple to follow after Him. AkoloutheĊ is the transliterated word for ‘follow’ in Matthew 8 text. Taken from alpha (Christ as the beginning) and keleuthos (a road) it means to be a follower or companion, to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him. Jesus Christ had prophesied to Peter about how his devoted life for Jesus would glorify God in death (definitely life changing); to which Jesus ends which the command to FOLLOW HIM (John 21:18-19).

Of course great multitudes followed Jesus coming down from the mountain in Matthew 8:1, but a leper was indeed in need of a life change. Being faced with desperation, he worshipped Jesus and asks to be clean, and then Jesus gives him clear direction of a command to follow (v4).

When life throws a curve ball at you or a left hook, follow Christ. Follow God by remembering His Word, praying and keeping your mind sober of things of this world (1 Peter 1:13). When Sarah died, Abraham had to have been shaken. The text says he came and wept for her (Genesis 23:2). He experienced a real life changing event in the death of his wife. I think what would I do if my wife died (Lord help me!!!!) Abraham followed God, we see that as he works out to find a burial place for his wife, and then in Chapter 24 get’s back to following the Lord’s promise from Genesis 12:2. He sends his servant to search for Isaac a wife. When there seems life has no direction, no way to turn, and even no way coming out: FOLLOW CHRIST. God bless and think on these words of scripture:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).

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