What does it mean to follow Jesus?

I sometimes wonder what the responses would be if I asked the church I preach for, or any other church for that matter what it means to follow Jesus?

Would I get a religious response? Would it be an emotional response? Would it be something that they heard a co-worker say or saw on the internet? Would it be a Biblical response? What would it be?stock-photo-religious-word-cloud-314485148

Would they say it means to be happy? It means we need to be serious? It means to obey? It means . . . ?

I must be honest, I don’t understand the Trinity of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe in the Three-in-One. I believe the Bible accurately reveals this truth to us. But understanding and explaining the reality is hard. But one thing I understand, that the relationship each member of the Trinity has with each is one of joy, love, respect, and unity. They trust each other. They trust each other implicitly.

Given that we are helpless sinners, saved by grace through our faith in Jesus, what does it mean to follow Jesus?

I see it comes from the relationship of Jesus with the Heavenly Father. It comes from the love and unity they have. Jesus always obeyed the Father. It was because of love and trust. Jesus tells us, “If you love me, keep my commandments,” (John 14:25).

And the best way to keep Jesus’ commands is to do as he does. It is to become like him in character and trust God with all our might, or as Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 33:37 and 39).

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Understanding God’s Will

As I noted in my last post, I am involved in a new ministry. In July I left the church and outside ministries I was involved with and moved to Forsyth, Missouri and assumed new responsibilities with the Forsyth Christian Church. Let me explain the process, that took a year or so to develop until I began serving with the church I am at now.

As the summer of 2014 began, I started feeling restless about my ministries and the circumstances that provided the opportunities for these various ministry endeavors. I was a bi-vocational minister for several years, working the midnight shift. There are all sorts of problems that go along with working the third shift, some of them are health issues, especially loss of sleep and the retirement that was supposed to be building was a fraction of what was promised (and it didn’t change when the recession hit in 08 and 09). The center I volunteered as a spiritual leader for was changing and the each change they made (and most of the changes were scheduling issues) made it harder and harder to help the students there.

My family was seeking more of my attention, aging parents, eager grand kids and more. An injury the year before was still a nagging injury, prohibiting me from some of the physical aspect of ministry. My congregation, I noticed was suffering too. I was unable to be available to help the group grow because of lack of energy and when I had to sleep.

These are the core aspects of what made me begin to see if God had other plans for my life as a minister. I talked with my wife, my children, and some close friends and determined it was time to see where God wants me to go.

Sensing these things, prayer was a given and has been throughout. I searched on Ozark Christian College’s and Central Christian College of Bible’s websites for churches seeking a preaching/lead minister. After 27 or 28 resumes, 7 or 8 phone interviews, one church called back and wanted to see me in person.

I met with the board and they invited me back to preach and meet and have an interview with the congregation. When they called us to come, we were ecstatic. Our family and friends supported it, and we were certain in our hearts that this is what God wanted.

20150731_085020Been here 3 months and we are moving in God’s direction and my previous congregation has now called a new minister and I believe will be moving forward where I was unable to lead them and I am very happy about that.

God, through a long process, made it certain that he wanted me to be the preacher for the congregation I now serve. Praise God.

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