Following is a Choice

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Matthew 4:18-19 (ESV)

While walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. And He said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’

For the disciples who Jesus called to follow, it was a simple decision to stay or go and follow Him. But what does it mean for us to follow Jesus today?

When Jesus began his earthly ministry, He journeyed with His disciples throughout Jerusalem and Galilee. Along the way, he heard the cries of many with pleas for help. These were very often physical needs of those who were sick, lame or blind. Jesus heard their cries, He saw their needs, and He responded with compassion. He allowed Himself to be interrupted to meet the needs of someone as He was on His way to meet the needs of another. He patiently taught, enduring long days with pressing crowds.

He took time for the little children, allowing them to come when the disciples would have turned them away. He humbled Himself and was a willing servant, yet He had command over all creation. In the end, He willingly submitted to the suffering of the cross for our sakes.

To follow Christ is a choice. It is a choice to pattern your life after His. For those who have a relationship with Him, we have the Spirit of God within us who will lead, guide and enable us to do as Jesus did. As a follower of Christ, we will care for the needs of others. We will show compassion, be willing to endure whatever daily pressures come and be patient with others. We also have to recognize the value of others as Jesus did in taking time to welcome little children or to allow Himself to be interrupted even at a seemingly inconvenient time.

This week, take time to consider what it means to be a follower of Jesus and choose to allow Him to lead you. If you do not yet have a personal relationship with Christ, then the first step is to accept Him as your personal Savior. With the same compassion Jesus showed to all during His earthly ministry, He calls for us to follow Him. His invitation is extended to all. Are we willing to follow?

July 15, 2019