September 28. 2020

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

Jesus says “FOLLOW ME” at least 20 times in the four Gospels. Depending on your translation it could be a few more or a few less times. And one of his most poignant times where He alluded to the concept of FOLLOW ME, when He said; Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6) Jesus is saying if you want to get to Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai, El Shadai, Allah- YOU MUST FOLLOW ME! We would never follow a stranger; we would never follow someone who wasn’t going where we wanted to go- we would never follow someone who wanted to do harm to us or our family. Today people follow people on Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter- keeping up with pithy comments and keeping abreast of what is going on in your life. THIS IS NOT what JESUS MEANS BY FOLLOW ME! What He means is; Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

Leader, Jesus is saying I WANT ALL OF YOU! With the Corona-virus and the shut down of the world for a bug we can’t see, many people are losing money, houses, relationships, and who knows what else will be lost when this is over- but if you are a follower of Jesus- you CAN’T LOSE YOUR HOPE! In order to keep our HOPE and pick up our cross daily and follow after JESUS we must know who He is. Jesus told us 8 I AM statements- He Himself told us WHO HE WAS, so we could FOLLOW HIM and FORSAKE the stuff of this world! 1.“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51) As bread sustains physical life, so Christ offers and sustains spiritual life. 2. “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) To a world lost in darkness, Christ offers Himself as a guide. 3. “I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7,9) Jesus protects His followers as shepherds protect their flocks from predators. 4. “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25) Death is not the final word for those in Christ. 5. I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14) Jesus is committed to caring and watching over those who are His

Conduit, . 6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Jesus is the source of all truth and knowledge about God. 7. “I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5) By attaching ourselves to Christ, we enable His life to flow in and through us. Then we cannot help but bear fruit that will honor the Father. But the most significant “I AM” statement by Christ is that which He stated in John 8:58; 8. Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” The reason this “I AM” statement by Christ is most significant is that aside from describing Himself analogically throughout the book of John, here He is declaring that He is the Living God, the Creator of the universe. Colossians 1 confirms this: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (v 15-17) No matter what the government allows or doesn’t allow, no matter what we all lose during this forced shutdown we never have to LOSE OUR HOPE! If your hope is in anything other than JESUS right now, things are tough. You don’t have to give up your life, you don’t have to give up all your stuff- the world is taking care of that. All you have to do is PICK UP YOUR CROSS DAILY and FOLLOW the GOD of the universe because in these DARK TIMES- He is the only ONE who knows where He is taking us! Jesus is saying to us today, “ITS OK- FOLLOW ME, I know where we are GOING!” “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)


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