Follow Me - Cover 2B - HolySmorgasBlog

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Being followable is not for a season or Sundays only; it’s a life-assignment. Are you an irreproachable leader? Even in private?

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FOLLOW YOU?!

“…follow me as I follow Christ…” is a BOLD statement! (1 Corinthians 11:1)

When Jesus said follow me, His disciples dropped everything and followed—hey, He’s Jesus. But what about Christians like you and I?

ARE WE IN A POSITION TO SAY, “FOLLOW ME AS I FOLLOW CHRIST” AND NOT LEAD PEOPLE ASTRAY?

When I read 1 Cor 11:1 and 2 Thes 3:7, I hear within Paul’s request, “I have Christ-like characteristics. I am an excellent representation. I know Him so:
Act like I do
Talk like I do
Think like I do
React like I do
Be like me people, and you’ll be being like Him!
Follow me, and you’ll come to know Him.”

I had to stop and meditate on that statement and ask myself if I could confidently say all (or any part) of that.

To lead someone is an act of mentorship; it is discipleship, serving, teaching, helping—a large part of The Great Commission. To intentionally lead is both a privilege and a sacrifice.

WITHOUT SACRIFICE THERE IS NO FOLLOW ME

The most that some of us can say about leading is, “Yeah okay, follow me, but I have a limit. I will lead to the extent of not inconvenienced or making anyone mad”; or “Follow me if it will be seen by others”; or “As long as it’s not for too long, sure, follow me.”

BEING FOLLOWABLE ISN’T A TIME SLOT OR FOR SUNDAYS ONLY; IT’S A LIFE-ASSIGNMENT

Paul made this “Follow me…” statement not in pride, but because he deeply cared for the church body. He knew that it was his responsibility to help others by example. He loved people because He loved Christ Who first loved him. Paul wanted better (Christ) for people and did something about it. He was nowhere near lukewarm (Rev. 3:16). He was a true ambassador (2 Cor 5:20, Eph 6:20).

Many of us are allergic to making sacrifices for various reasons; one being, it’s hard. Part of our resistance to a yielded life for others’ sake is we don’t see immediate results; we lack empathy, lack vision, fall short of knowing the heart of God—we lack true (agape) love.

WHEN THE REVELATORY LOVE OF GOD OVERTAKES US, WE CAN’T HELP BUT SHARE IT

There are people waiting for us to get our acts together—waiting for us to get to the point of being able to say, “Follow me…” publicly or privately and in whatever area God has called or gifted us. How many of us are actively doing this or even conscious of it? Whether in the workplace or home, there are people waiting for us to turn away from our reflection in the mirror and love them with our lives after all, our lives are not our own.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is another example of someone that may or may not have ever said ‘Follow me…’, but people did. People still are. People still will. His legacy wasn’t as much based on the man, but the cause. He seemed like a better man because of the cause. He did what he did because the cause outweighed his life, personal failings, and imperfections.

Listen to this: “[We] sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened…” 1 Thessalonians 3:2-6 (NKJV)

The AMP version says, “…you know that we have been destined for this [as something unavoidable in our position]”.

Amazing! Their calling was so strong within them, they could not, NOT lead and shepherd others. They suffered because of it. Are we willing to suffer for others’ sake? We may be willing to die for our family, but are we willing to for strangers (Luke 6:30-36)?

The reason I bring up Dr. King is because we know more about his sins, yet and still, he submitted his assignment and The Lord used Him—his calling was sure. King was willing. No one could dissuade him. He produced all of that fruit, despite his scandals. Like the apostle Paul, it could be said of Dr. King:

HE LOVED OTHERS TO THE POINT OF PERSONAL HURT
HE LOVED THE VISION OF THE FUTURE TO THE POINT OF DEATH
(Dan 10:1, Hab 2:3)

Life for others was his life’s work. Is that the case for us? What might be holding us back?

Another interesting thing is that more than ever, we seem to be a results NOW kind of society. This is where the fruits of the spirit come in—patience, longsuffering, and endurance (Gal 5:22-23)—because the full extent and effect of Paul and King’s leadership weren’t seen while they were still alive, but their leadership was desperately needed in its time. The lives and sacrifices were part of a greater whole. They knew they were “playing the long game”.

We hopefully understand this: what we do or do not do affects the greater whole, our action or inaction spiritually resonates throughout the body of Christ, and future, and it all takes time—we may not see the effects of it and we may never get a pat on the back.

IF WE’RE LOOKING FOR A PAT ON THE BACK FOR LEADING OTHERS, WE’RE NOT YET MATURE, COURAGEOUS LEADERS

If our cause and characteristics aren’t clear and we are not easily followable—if we are not yet able to confidently say, “Follow me as I follow Christ…” like Paul did, it’s imperative we ask ourselves why.

ARE WE WAITING ON THE IMPOSSIBLE GOAL OF PERFECTION?

Is it fear? Shame? (Romans 1:16) Selfishness? Rebellion? Lack of understanding?

People are waiting to follow us whether they know it or not, whether we know them or not, and whether we think we’re ready or not. Perfection (in ourselves) is not the goal.

CAN WE SAY?

IF I DO NOT DO THE WORKS OF MY FATHER, DO NOT BELIEVE ME…
John 10:37 (NKJV)

or

I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom [which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God]; I have led you in paths of uprightness. / Proverbs 4:11 (AMPC)

or

we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God. / 2 Corinthians 5:20 (AMP)

QUESTION

Are you willing to do or say anything God asks or instructs you to do?

Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.” / Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

More scriptures for study below.
Thanks for your excellent leadership and for reading a HolySmorgasBlog!
Much love,
Kimberly Arland
Original posting: Jan, 2018

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"Follow me" Scriptures

I pray that you would be filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding (spiritual and mental intelligence combined) and increase in the correct knowledge of God. / Col 1:9-10

  • If anyone serves Me, he must [continue to faithfully] follow Me [without hesitation, holding steadfastly to Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]; and wherever I am [in heaven’s glory], there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. / John 12:26 (AMP)

YOU ARE PART OF THE FRUIT AND PROOF OF CHRIST

  • Am I not free [unrestrained and exempt from any obligation]? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our [risen] Lord [in person]? Are you not [the result and proof of] my work in the Lord? If I am not [considered] an apostle to others, at least I am one to you; for you are the seal and the certificate and the living evidence of my apostleship in the Lord [confirming and authenticating it]. / 1 Corinthians 9:1-2 (AMP)
  • they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. / 2 Chronicles 15:9b (NKJV)

PRAYING & SACRIFICING FOR OTHERS

  • By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers. / 1 John 3:16 (AMP)
  • … as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God… / Colossians 1:6-10 (NKJV)
  • Lord [pleads Jeremiah in the name of the people], I know that [the determination of] the way of a man is not in himself; it is not in man [even in a strong man or in a man at his best] to direct his [own] steps. / Jeremiah 10:23 (AMPC)
  • “…we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause [for them!] I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” / Ephesians 3:12-15 (KJV)
  • If anyone serves Me, he must [continue to faithfully] follow Me [without hesitation, holding steadfastly to Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]; and wherever I am [in heaven’s glory], there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. / John 12:26 (AMP)
  • …since Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God], because whoever has suffered in the flesh [being like-minded with Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [having stopped pleasing the world], so that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living for human appetites and desires, but [lives] for the will and purpose of God. / 1 Peter 4:1-2 (AMP)
  • It was revealed to them that their services [their prophecies regarding grace] were not [meant] for themselves and their time, but for you, in these things [the death, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus Christ] which have now been told to you by those who preached the gospel to you by the [power of the] Holy Spirit [who was] sent from heaven. Into these things even the angels long to look. / 1 Peter 1:12-14 (AMP)
  • Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. / Luke 6:30-36 (NKJV)

Thanks for your excellent leadership and for reading a HolySmorgasBlog!
Much love,
Kimberly Arland
Original post: Jan, 2018

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