Friday, December 2, 2011

Question: "Why Do You Follow Jesus?"

Liz over at asked me the following question: "Why do you follow Jesus?"

Hmm. Good question. Thanks for asking! Here are just a few of my thoughts, which I gathered quickly before getting the kids up for school today:

Answer: The question presupposes that I am, in fact, following Jesus - and all that entails....Jesus Himself said that "the one who loves [Him] will keep [His] commandments" (John 14:21). Since none of us do that perfectly, and I least of all, following Jesus demands and understanding of repentance and grace that does not come naturally to my prideful, self-sufficient nature.

And yet, I cannot live without Him, and would not want to.

So, what are my reasons for following Him?

1.) He is God. (Romans 9:5). The deity of Jesus Christ, an indisputable biblical truth, means that He is the highest authority in the universe - He is the absolute sovereign Ruler. His Kingdom is not a democracy.

2.) Axiomatically, I am His slave. (1 Cor. 4:1). I do not "make" Jesus Lord; He already IS Lord. My obligation is to submit to His loving, gracious, and absolute authority.

3.) His unbelievable kindness is what led me to repentance (Romans 2:4). Fear of God is indeed the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), but craven fear is not what turned my heart to Him.

4.) He is patient with me (Romans 2:4). Why would One so perfect and impeccably holy condescend to be patient with one as stubborn and corrupt as I? How can I not respond to Him?

5.) He predestined me in love to be His adopted child (Ephesians 1:5). I cannot fathom why God would choose me as His own, but I know that it had nothing to do with anything He saw in me (Eph. 2:8-9).

6.) He is gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29). The King of the Universe is gentle and humble...and He chose me to belong to Him. Unbelievable.

7.) He loved me first (1 John 4:19). I will never understand why Jesus would love me, but I know this is true. Not responding to Him is inconceivable.

8.) He really did die for me personally (Galatians 2:20). This fact is unthinkable to the unregenerate mind, and when I stop to consider what the perfect and loving Son of God went through on my behalf, the unrepented sin I am carrying around causes me deep shame. Following Him demands that I see my sin for what it is, and what it actually cost Him.

9.) I know that Jesus loves me, even when I fail to follow Him, because He even loves those who turn away (Mark 10:21) and He restores our relationship each and every time I repent He forgives me (Luke 17:4; Jesus never commands us to do something He does not do Himself).

10.) Jesus loved children (Matt. 19:14), and they loved Him. Kids are not naturally drawn to someone unpleasant to be around.

11.) He is compassionate, even on the most disgraceful and shameful situations (John 8:11; Luke 8:40 ff.)

12.) He feels affection toward us (Philippians 1:3-4), which He enables us to have for one another. He is not cold nor indifferent.

13.) He wants us to be with Him in His Kingdom, eternally happy beyond what we could ask or imagine (John 14:3).

14.) He enables me to change, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to live a life truly pleasing to Him (Ephesians 4:21-25).

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