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Who (or What) Do You Really Follow?

  1. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) To most, this means to follow the established rules aligned with their personal belief system. In essence, to live a good “Christian” life. However, these beliefs vary from person to person and typically based on whatever church, pastor, teacher, denomination, bible translation, doctrine, etc. one should decide to embrace or follow. Yet, these things have little to do with what Jesus meant by taking up ones cross and follow Him. Consequently, most modern descriptions of what defines a Christian falls short of what Jesus said we MUST do to come after Him. Nevertheless, if a person should pray a sinner’s prayer, get water baptized, become a member of a church, read the bible, pay tithes, and tell people about Jesus they are to be considered a good Christian. Sadly, these practices can be and are accomplished by many who claim to be are in Christ as well as those who are not. Unfortunately, these so called “Christian” practices are mostly based on tradition and human practices to outwardly display a “so called” Christian life. However, anyone can do these things without ever turning from their worldly lives to follow Jesus, serve His kingdom, and do His will as opposed to one’s own will here on earth.

    Therefore, Jesus was not talking about a lifestyle when He said to pick up your cross and follow Him daily, but instead He was talking about having ones heart turned totally toward Him (the first commandment, put God first in our lives). Therefore, Jesus is telling us to be willing to drop everything in this world to follow Him (a full surrender). However, this does not mean that Jesus expects you to discard all of your earthly possessions, desires, etc. Instead, He expects you to turn it all over to Him for His purpose and use (to fulfil the second commandment, love all others as we love ourselves). So many claim that they either will or have done this at some point in their lives, but who are they fooling? The Lord knows our heart and our true commitment toward Him. That is why He said many are called, but few are chosen. The few inherit the kingdom of heaven, and the many who are called yet do not fully commit will be lost forevermore because they lack the personal relationship required by the Lord.

    Jesus said concerning those who lack a personal relationship with Him, "And then I will declare unto them, 'I never knew you; depart you from Me, those working lawlessness.'" (Matthew 7:23) Do you have this personal relationship, or are you following the ways of man versus the Lord? Only once we fully commit our hearts to Christ and truly lay our lives down for Him, as He did for us, we will understand what it means to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. By the way, this is not a once in a lifetime commitment, Jesus said to do this daily. Naturally, you can imagine there is so much more to be said concerning a personal relationship with Jesus, picking up your cross daily, and what it truly means to follow Him. The writings in these two free ebooks covers this more deeply and you can download them at the following links:

    Koinonia: Fellowship in Christ
    Koinonia: Fellowship in Christ, an Ebook by Dr. Steven J. Bassett
    or
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09256BJDD

    Walk as Jesus Walked - Volume I: The Teachings of Jesus
    Walk as Jesus Walked - Volume I: The Teachings of Jesus, an Ebook by Dr. Steven J. Bassett
    or
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JB5136N

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