Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Believing or Following....

(An example I gave from the youth lesson I taught on Sunday)

If I were to ask you if you were a Jesus Follower, I think most of us would be like "Oh yeah... that's me!" & not really think anything of it.  We know we love Jesus & all that he stands for - so of course, we're his followers
... but are we?

Do we get believing confused with following?

Believing is when we agree with something we've been told or learned.  We agree that Jesus is the Son of God & died for our sins & rose again from the grave.  I know I believe that...  & Jesus WANTS us to believe in that.  Its why he did what he did....nothing wrong one bit with believing... but is believing all that there is?  Nope...

How about the next step of following?

A good example of a difference between the two.

My buddy Ryan is a firefighter.  I believe he is amazing at his job.  I believe he saves lives.  I believe he puts himself in dangerous situations in order to help someone.  I believe he changes the world.
.... but if he was called to a fire, would I follow him into it?

Probably not... I wouldnt feel prepared for it - I would feel like I would just be in the way, messing him up in his job... I would probably stick to my belief of what he does & leave it at that.

Following is HARD work...

Ask Ricky...

He makes it look easy but he's amazing at following someone skating.
(Some of you may have seen this already, but you know you want to dance to the music again, so go ahead & play it)

I asked him what's so hard at following someone & he said that its different with each person you're behind.  You have to learn their steps because it changes.  & if you aren't aware of how they move, you can easily mess up & click wheels & you're going down...

I'm awful at following in skating.  You have to move FAST in order to be as good as Ricky.  I'm 'ok'.. not bad...not great... but I at least can do some moves.  But following is not one of them.  I don't like going that fast.  So if I follow someone, I end up getting so far behind & I cant keep up - next thing I know - the person has circled the rink & is behind me!... so I don't even bother trying to stick behind someone.

When we think about following Jesus - all of these things can apply to our lives

... we think we're not prepared for what Jesus calls us to do
... we think we'll just mess up His plans & it'll just be better to stay out of the way
... we're afraid we'll mess up & trip up & fall right on our face
... we're afraid we can't keep up with what He's calling us to do, so we just don't bother with trying

It's so easy to believe... but stepping up to FOLLOW Jesus is hard...

It means putting ourselves in a position to be uncomfortable, to do things that we wouldn't normally do - to change the way we live, think, act to the world...

But how the world would change if we took those steps to follow Jesus...

Jesus tells us in Mark 8:34

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me

Turning from our selfish ways...

there it is...

turning from what we want - turning from our fears - turning from doing things the way we want to do things

Following is hard...
but we're called to do hard things in following Jesus.

I pray that God lays on our hearts one thing that we need to 'turn from our selfish ways' in order to follow him more as we head into this Easter season.  We all have these things...

are we ready to step a little further out of just believing?


  1. You make a fantastic youth teacher :) I love the examples and the challenge you left them with. So many people stop with the "believe and be saved" and forget about the rest of it. Being changed into a new creation and sanctified to me more like Christ. Love it!

  2. This is absolutely truth! Thanks for the timely reminder !

  3. very thoughtful post! Good one! :)

  4. I think this is one of your best post to date, Jo Jo!! This is real meat and potatoes right here!!!! Love this!!! :)

  5. This is truth ... and reminds me of the session we did at church a year and a half ago "Not a Fan".

  6. Following Jesus is a choice, but once made, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do it. I think the difficult part is coming to the place of full surrender and deciding to follow Him. We did that "Not a Fan" study at church too.


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