Tag: follow me
Scripture reading for November 13th: John 21, Psalm 76, Proverbs 9
John 21: 20-24 “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against Him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” So the saying spread around that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say that he was not to die, but, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
After the resurrection, Jesus Christ met with His disciples to complete their equipping for the mission He was sending them on–to be His witnesses. Peter had denied Jesus three times and Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him. Peter responded in the affirmative, vowing his love. After each response, Jesus reiterated His command to Peter to feed His lambs and sheep. After the third time, Jesus prophetically told Peter how he would give his life for the Master and Gospel. This caused Peter to wonder about John, who was also near at the time. What about John’s future before Jesus’ return? Jesus told him that was not to be his concern, instead Peter was to concentrate on following Him day by day. Jesus has a unique path for each of His followers that requires focus and daily obedience! Wisdom must prepare, set the table and wait.
Psalm 76:11-12 “Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around Him bring gifts to Him Who is to be feared, Who cuts off the spirit of princes, Who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience in restoring Peter and reaffirming Your call. Thank You for calling me to follow You. It is my choice and desire to follow You each day of my life. Keep me from distractions and looking at other disciples with wonder or jealousy instead of keeping my focus on Your appointed work for me. May my testimony of You be steadfast and true and I be found faithful to You.
Proverbs 9:1-2 “Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.”
Scripture reading for April 11th: Matthew 4, Psalm 72, Proverbs 10
Matthew 4: 17-23 “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” While walking by 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.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him. And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”
Jesus came back in the power of the Holy Spirit from His forty-day encounter with Satan in the wilderness. He immediately began to preach repentance and call people to enter the kingdom of heaven. He began calling disciples from among the fishermen working at the Sea of Galilee. This was the area of Israel where a trade route brought many Gentiles through the area and the area Isaiah had prophesied about a “great light” appearing! Those called to follow Jesus, responded immediately! They were promised by Jesus a new type of ‘fishing’! Jesus then went throughout that area teaching and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of heaven and healing and miracles were being done among the people in need of His kingdom! Praise the Lord! The whole earth was being filled with His glory!
Psalm 72:18-19 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who alone has done wondrous things. Blessed be His glorious Name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen!”
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for Your amazing call to those first fishermen to follow You and become fishers of men. The amazing love of King Jesus was and is being demonstrated by the covering of sins and offenses against You and the healing of hearts, bodies and souls damaged by sickness and sin. Through Jesus, I have found the fountain of Life! Use me to share the Gospel and Your glory to all! Amen!
Proverbs 10:11-12 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”
Scripture reading for January 3rd: Mark 2, Psalms 2, Proverbs 2
Mark 2: 14-15 “And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he rose and followed Him. And as He reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him.
What was it that motivated those He chose as disciples to follow Jesus? Why were sinners and tax collectors attracted to Jesus? Why was He attracted to them? These questions come out as we read this passage speaking of how Jesus called disciples like Levi, a tax collector. He came to his house for a meal, Levi had invited many of his friends, fellow tax collectors and ‘sinners.’ Tax collectors were considered the lowest of the low, betrayers of their own people to collect taxes from them for the Roman oppressors. This really aggravated the religious folks! They demanded to know why Jesus would eat with them! Jesus simply replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (vs. 17)
Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Son with the message that You desire to have fellowship and friendship with even the worst of ‘sinners’. Your message of Good News drew many sinners who found a new life of joy in Your grace and forgiveness. Help me to see others through Your eyes and allow the compassion You have for those lost in sin to flow through my heart and lips in sharing Good News!
Proverbs 2:9-10 “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”
Scripture reading for August 8th: Hosea 1-3, Matthew 16
Matthew 16: 24-26 “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.”
As Jesus approached the time of His departure and His encounter with death, Jesus called His disciples to a full dedication of their lives in following Him. This was a choice for each person to make freely from their own will, Jesus did not force or coerce anyone. This choice involved taking up a cross and following Jesus, even to death. Those wanting to save their lives must be willing to lose it. Anyone who would lose their life in following Jesus would find life eternal!
Matthew 16:26-28 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what they have done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Prayer: Father God, I look forward to the Day of Christ when He comes with all His angels in the glory of His Father. I know there is nothing I can give for my own soul. I trust solely in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. I am willing to follow Jesus Christ and take up my cross, dying to myself and living fully for Your will. Indwell me today by the Holy Spirit and lead me into Your will and everlasting peace.
Hosea 2:18-20 “And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to Me forever. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.”
Scripture reading for March 30th: Joshua 1-4, Psalm 143, Luke 14
Luke 14:25-27, 33 “Now great crowds accompanied Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” . . . “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Jesus laid down strict guidelines for those who wanted to follow Him and become a disciple. He was elaborating on the “narrow door” He had spoken of earlier. He told the crowd that they must ‘hate’ family members in comparison to loving Him in order to be His disciples. He told them that they must be willing to take up their cross and follow Him, even to death. They were to renounce their past life and follow Him with singular focus. In today’s reading in Joshua, we have the story of Rahab who welcomed the spies in Jericho. She was told to gather her family into her house and tie a scarlet cord. This would bring protection to all in the house. The ‘scarlet cord’ represented the marking of the blood in the Exodus account. Jesus’ blood and sacrifice on the cross was the “narrow door” for salvation for all!
Joshua 2:18, 21 “Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie the scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household.” . . .”And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I believe in Him and abandon all human effort and schemes of salvation. I agree with Rahab of old and Mary, mother of Jesus, “According to your Words, so be it.” Lead me today by Your Spirit on the level ground of faith and teach me to do Your will.
Psalm 143:10“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God! Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground!”
Scripture reading for January 3rd: Genesis 1-2, Psalm 19, Mark 1
Mark 1:16-20 “Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John His brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him.”
A big factor in life-satisfaction is having a clear purpose and pursuing it. God has a plan for each person’s life and a purpose for which He formed them. Before Christ, we may set out on our own to find purpose in many pursuits, some lawful and others dubious, but when we hear from God, that changes everything! These fishermen were going about their business of mending nets and pursuing purpose in an honorable way of life and business. Jesus purposely passed by their place of business. He was walking as the Father God directed Him to choose those who would become His followers and enter into God’s kingdom purposes. He offered an invitation to these ordinary working men to follow Him and to become fishers of men! Their response was “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Immediate obedience and faith came at the sound of Jesus’ voice to these called by God! Are you listening to Jesus as you read His Word today? Jesus is calling!
Genesis 2:7, 15 “. . . then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” . . .”The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the breath of Life you placed in me through the gift of the Holy Spirit and for the call to follow Jesus and learn and obey His Word. Thank You for the purpose and vision that You give to each person who responds to Your voice. Forgive me for not being ‘immediate’ in my responses. Thank You for Your patience and mercy. Let Your purposes be my purposes and teach me to fish for men as You did with those first followers.
Psalm 19:1-4 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”
Scripture reading for November 8th: John 12
Key Scriptures: John 12:20-26 “Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor Him.””
John records this incident of some non-Jews, Greeks, who came up to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover feast at the time Jesus was going to offer Himself as the final Passover sacrifice as the ‘Lamb of God’. They came to the disciple Philip who was from Galilee and asked to see Jesus. Philip served them by going to Andrew and together they went and found Jesus and told him about these Gentiles. Jesus gave them an answer: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. . . If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” Jesus served His Father and us out of love and obedience. This brought glory as all people would be drawn to Christ through the cross and resurrection.
John 12:27-30 “”Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your Name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there heard it and said that it thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”“
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for opening my eyes from the darkness of sin to behold Christ Jesus in His glory of self-sacrificing service to mankind and the complete obedience to You and Your Word. Thank You for drawing all mankind, Jews and Gentiles, to see Jesus in His glory. Help me to follow You and worship You through obedient service and preaching the true Gospel.
John 12:30-33 “Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not Mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death He was going to die.”
Scripture reading for March 26th: Luke 18
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:18-24 “And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments? ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come and follow Me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
Mankind is always looking for a formula or some form of human effort that they can use to earn favor with God. The rich ruler flattered Jesus, calling Him ‘good’ and appeared sincere in his quest for eternal life. Jesus called his attention to the revealed Word of God, the ten commandments, quoting five of them. The ruler sincerely stated that he had kept them from his youth. Knowing his love of money, Jesus went deeper to expose a breaking of the first commandment–idolatry. When asked to give up all his possessions and follow Jesus, he became sad and could not freely comply. He was wrestling in his heart with the cost of obtaining what he had stated he wanted and giving up the money now. Jesus told His disciples that it was hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom–not impossible! With God’s grace and our humility to listen and receive, all things are possible.
Luke 18:29-30 “And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your grace, enabling my salvation! I wanted this world’s riches, but was bankrupt until You revealed the Way of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Help me to clearly present the Good News of laying my desires down and following You to eternal riches.
Proverbs 11:28 “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.”
Scripture reading for January 19th: Mark 2
Key Scriptures: Mark 2:14-17 “And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow Me.” And he rose and followed Him. And as He reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.””
Jesus knew all men and saw potential that the world and religious community missed. As He passed by the tax station of Levi (Matthew), Jesus called out to him to follow as a disciple. Levi was quick to obey and invited Jesus to a party as his house with other tax collectors. These tax collectors were considered the “unredeemable” of Jesus time in the Jewish culture and Jesus was questioned about why He would stoop to eat with them. Jesus explained that He came for those who were sick with sin and would recognize their need of healing and forgiveness. Those who judged themselves to be righteous would miss His call and judged those who did respond.
Psalm 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Selah
Faith confession and prayer: Thank You for calling me. Lord, keep me from self-righteousness. I confess my need for Your forgiveness and healing as a sinner. Use me to bring others to You who need healing from their brokenness.
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; . . .”
Scripture reading for March 30th: Joshua 1-4, Psalm 143, Luke 14
Key Scriptures: Luke 14:25-30 “Now great crowds accompanied Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'”
Joshua 1:8-9 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Jesus taught that there were priorities that must be decided upon if a person chose to become His disciple. Family could not be first. Our own life in soul and body must be placed lower than following Jesus. There was a cross for each disciple that they must chose to bear. Successful discipleship would come by full surrender and obedience to God’s Word and Christ’s teaching.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I have set You and Your Word as my priority in my life. Help me to keep Your Word in my heart and on my lips as I walk with You to the promised land.
Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God! Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground!”