FOLLLOW THE LORD
In the early time this morning the air was filled with a call to follow the Lord. That sounds simple enough, inviting enough, and sure enough. It is not like I am not ‘following the Lord’ but the call was louder, ‘Follow the Lord,’ and I suspect it is a deeper call. As the years go by it gets louder, deeper, higher and clearer to hear. There is no mistaking it.
In the book of Hebrews where the ‘race’ of life is described; the center of attention is Jesus, “We must throw off every encumbrance, every sin to which we cling, and run with resolution the race for which we are entrusted, our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom faith depends from start to finish” (12:1-2). To follow the Lord we must keep our eyes fixed on Him, that is, we constantly stay focused on the one we follow.
One of the striking features of Jesus’ ministry was his calling to people to follow him. The command to ‘Follow Me’ was spoken at the beginning (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17; 2:14; Luke 5:27; John 1:43) and during (Matthew 8:22; 9:9; Luke 9:59) and at the end of his ministry. The last words in John’s gospel spoken to Peter were, ‘Follow Me’ (21:22). ‘Following’ meant very clearly to give Jesus a total commitment so that devotion to him would be absolutely first in a person’s life. The words of Jesus are quite pointed about this, “If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, he must leave self behind; day after day he must take up his cross, and come with me (follow me)” (Luke 9:23).
“To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Jesus