Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Following in Your Footsteps: Anyone can do it

Last time we talked about what the common perceptions of a Christian and what it really means to be a Christian...a Christ follower.
A lot of people have this idea that only "good" people can be Christians.
Only people that have it all together can follow Christ.
Only people with money can be Christians.
Only people who have never said or done anything bad can follow Christ.
BUT, I tell you, none of that is true.
Jesus doesn't ask for only people with money to follow Him.
He doesn't ask for perfect people to follow Him.
INSTEAD, He asks for ALL people to follow Him.
Maybe you think that you have messed up too many times to follow Jesus
or maybe you don't feel like you're good enough, but the good news is that Jesus doesn't care about that. He wants you...all of you...flaws, past mistakes, everything. He wants you to follow Him where you are, right now.
In fact, Jesus could have picked rich, educated men to be His disciples while He was here on earth, but He didn't. He chose fishermen and one tax collector. He chose simple men who were not perfect, but imperfect. Acts 4:13 says, "Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus."
Jesus didn't have requirements like:
-You have to go to church every Sunday.
-You have to obtain a 4.0 gpa.
-You have to wear Sperry's and have the latest gaming system.
-You have to have a clean record.
-You must have the Bible memorized and recite it forwards/backwards.
Whew! I'm glad He doesn't have requirements like that for us.
His only requirement is:
"And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." ~Luke 9:23
(More on that later)
Kyle Idleman says in his book, Not a Fan..."When Jesus invited Matthew to follow, he was making it clear that this is an open invitation extended not solely to the religious elite , the morally upright, and those who have their lives together. But it is an invitation to all of us who are hiding some stains. Jesus throws out the elitist application process and gives you an open invitation."
He also writes...
"So who is invited to follow Jesus? Anyone.
Sexual past? Anyone.
Ex-con? Anyone. Current con? Anyone.
Recently divorced? Anyone.
Republican? Democrat? Anyone.
Alcoholic? Anyone.
Pothead? Anyone.
Addict? Anyone.
Hypocrite? Anyone."
You know what that means?
Jesus wants you to follow Him.
Next time, we'll talk about what it looks like to follow in Jesus' footsteps.
Reading plan for this week:
Monday: Esther 1-5
Tuesday: Esther 6-10
Wednesday: Job 1-4
Thursday: Job 5-7
Friday: Job 8-10
Saturday: Job 11-13
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