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Archive for March, 2011

What does it mean to follow Jesus? That was a question I asked last week and hope to address it here and now.

Lately I’ve been reading One. Life by Scot Mcknight.  In it he says “A Christian, then, is one who follows Jesus, devotes his or her One. Life to the kingdom vision, and uses his or her imagination to see what God can do in this world. This imagination is nothing other than kingdom imagination shaped by Jesus’ parables”.

The parables by and large show us what it means to follow Jesus and to be a Christian. They show us how to be kingdom people. In them we see when people find a very valuable pearl the who found it sold everything they owned and bought that pearl. In another parable the servants of a land owner planted seed to grow wheat, but an enemy planted seeds of weeds. When the weeds were discovered the servants wanted to uproot them. But the master wouldn’t allow it, because the wheat would be uprooted as well. Mckight thinks the reason was kingdom people and non-kingdom people were intended to live together in harmony. These are just two examples, but all of the parables give some insight into what it means to follow Jesus.

All four of the Gospel accounts give great insight into following Jesus. In John’s gospel when John the Baptist told two of his followers Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God and they followed Him. When Jesus saw them they went home with Him and spent the rest of the day with Him. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke when Jesus saw Peter and Andrew, and James and John, He invited them to follow Him. They left all they had and followed Him. They spent three years with Jesus eating together, listening to Him, traveling with Him, etc etc. He taught them so many things, the basic elements of faith(especially Matthew chapters 5 through 7). He taught them how to live faithfully before God. He taught them how to treat people.

All of the epistles shed light into following Jesus also. Especially the epistles of Peter, James, and John. They teach on being humble, respectful, and loving.

How do we learn to be followers of Jesus? We should start with reading the four gospel accounts. We should follow the basics of the faith. We should read and study books about the Jesus’ life. Some of my favorites are The Jesus Style by Gaylin Erwin; No Wonder They Call Him The Savior by Max Lucado; and Six Hours One Friday by Lucado. We should study the basics and read study books on them like Living God’s Love by Earl Lavander and Gary Holloway and Prayer: The Voice of Faith by Charles Hodge.

Most important we should always be reading our Bibles and doing the basics as best we can.

This post obviously doesn’t exhaust what it means to be a follower of Jesus. These are just a few of  my thoughts. This is all I can think of at this moment. If you have any thoughts on what I have said or you want to add your own please put your thoughts on the comments page. Thoughts, comments, questions, etc are always welcomed and encouraged. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings one and all. I’ve said this way too many times lately. Sorry there are so many days between blog posts on here. I promise to do better and blog more.

In the post from last week I asked a few questions about baptism. Most of the questions centered about when someone should be baptized. Today I’m going to address this topic.

A few years ago I read a book by Jimmy Allen called :Re-Baptism?: What One Must Know To Be Born Again. In the book Dr Allen says you must know you are a sinner, Jesus died to save sinners from their sins, you believe Jesus is the Son of God, and you want to name Him Lord of your life.  All of that is true, but still doesn’t clarify at what point in one’s life this should take place.

At least a few friends of mine where baptized at an early age (12 or early teens) only to be baptized a few years later, saying they didn’t really realize what they were doing. I was baptized at age 12 and was baptized again at age 17, because I didn’t think I knew what I was doing either. A few other people I know and love said they were baptized early in life only to be baptized later in life for the same reasons. My question is “why is that”?

When I was at Sunset during the past two years one of our teachers preached an excellent sermon on this topic. He told us about when he and his family lived in New Zealand. They had a lot of people they studied with make the decision to become a Christian and follower of Jesus as adults. This had a profound influence on our teachers’ two children. When they moved back to the States they had friends with little children who decided to become Christians in the early part of life. Our teacher said his children seemed to be repulsed by that. His children came to understand that making the decision to follow Jesus was an adult decision not a child’s decision.

When his daughter went to college, our teacher told us she called him late one night and said she was ready now to decide to surrender her life to Jesus and make Him Lord of her life. And a year or two later he said his son had graduated high school and was about to go off to college. He wanted Jesus to be Lord of his life in college, so he too made the decision to follow Jesus.

I remember hearing a story of a preacher talking to a young boy who decided he wanted to be a Christian. The preacher asked him what his relationship was like with God. Where they friends or where they enemies? The boy said God was his friend. The preacher said those who need to be baptized should see themselves as God’s enemy not His friend. In Romans 5:6 the apostle Paul says Jesus came and died for us while we were still powerless and at our worst. In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul describes us as agents of wrath as we indulge ourselves in our sins and transgressions. These verses in chapter two paint us in a very desperate state.

Other parts of Romans and Ephesians say we must give our lives to Jesus and trust Him to cleanse our lives of sin.

I have come to believe becoming a Christian and a follower of Jesus is a decision that should be made by adults not by children.  God holds adults responsible for their actions and sins, not children.

Any thoughts or comments on this? They are always welcomed. Thank you for reading my thoughts on this.

Hopefully I’ll blog more this week. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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