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What does following Jesus look like?

following-jesus-by-faithYou and I both know how difficult this is to answer because all of us are looking for a nice instructional booklet that gives us the 12 step program – that is, we want an easy to follow manual and those we are asking for advice from want to give us a manual.

One of the characteristics of God that I enjoy most is His creativity. God has shown that in all of creation, nothing is the same.  Our figure prints, our DNA, number of hairs on our head, the number of pounding our knees can take, how long we will live – nothing, we are all different.

Yet we approach God as a corporation.  He knows what success looks like, therefore, I want to make sure I get into that track and be a successful follower of Christ.

We know in our heads that God is a relationship God, yet when it comes to practicing that we miss it sometimes.  God has a specific plan and purpose for each of us – different and unique from others that you know.  He is calling you to follow Him – what is His response when you say yes?

Remember the religious person who declared to Jesus that he would go wherever Jesus went – something like a disciple – Jesus told him not to.  He told this person to stay where he was and be a light to the people in his life at the moment.

Then another person said, let me bury my father, that person Jesus wanted to follow Him right away and go with Him wherever He went.

The rich young ruler had to sell everything and give it to the poor etc.

Jesus calls each one of us, out task is to ask what that looks like – its between you and Him.  Whether you get it right or not, the process of asking and giving yourself to His call is all the Holy Spirit needs to begin to prepare you for your call.  It may take a while to heal, restore, prepare, learn, or grow – and then again it might not – but whenever the call comes, the Holy Spirit would have done His job it getting you prepared and strengthened to do whatever Jesus needs you to do.

Someone said to me that it is easier to change the direction of a boulder as long as it is moving – so move forward, love Jesus, love others – go with God wherever you go and in whatever you do.

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. […] What does following Jesus look like? (evanlaar2013.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Please check http://goandteachallnations.wordpress.com/ for the glory of God to be revealed among all nations.

  3. […] What does following Jesus look like? (evanlaar2013.wordpress.com) […]

  4. andydbrown says:

    “…all of us are looking for a nice instructional booklet that gives us the 12 step program – that is, we want an easy to follow manual…Yet we approach God as a corporation.” Wow! So true. You have a great way of presenting Truth that needs to be told! More power to you throughout this year, brother.

  5. […] What does following Jesus look like? (evanlaar2013.wordpress.com) […]

  6. Which is the most important?
    Jesus was asked twice, by two different men, the same basic question about which is the most important or greatest commandment in the Law. Here is how Jesus answered that question:

    #1
    “One of the teachers of the law… asked him [Jesus],
    ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than THESE.” [Mark 12:28-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

    #2
    …an expert in the law, tested him [Jesus] with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’”

    Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.” [Matthew 22:36-40, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]

    But in contrast with Jesus, Paul the Pharisee didn’t know the greatest, most important, first commandment according to Jesus. Paul made up his own rule. Paul wrote:
    “The entire law is summed up in a SINGLE command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Galatians 5:14, Leviticus 19:18]

    And again, Paul wrote:
    “He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this ONE RULE: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” [Romans 13:8-10, Leviticus 19:18]

    Jesus said it’s TWO commandments, with the greatest, most important, first command to
    .1) first, love God with everything you’ve got, and
    .2) second, love people.
    Paul said no, it ONE commandment- to love people.

    This is very similar to The Beatles- “All you need is love. Love is all you need. Love, Love, Love.” (In other words, the second commandment, the love of man, without the love of God. Love as me, myself and I define love to be, and continuously redefined by sinful men.)

    In essence, it is also the same principle as what Eve did in the Garden of Eden, forgetting about the Tree of Life, which is the first tree in the middle of the Garden, and instead referring to the second tree as “the tree that is in the middle of the garden.” [Genesis 3:3 & 2:9 2:17, 3:24]

    Kind of like the Pharisees with Jesus, who were pushing the false idea that we can consider ONE commandment in the Law, alone in isolation, to be “the greatest commandment in the Law.”

    Or like today, false teachers in the Chrislam – Purpose Driven – Seeker Sensitive – Emergent – Liberal – Ecumenical – New Age – world church movement pushing the false idea that the ONE RULE is “Loving God and Neighbor together.”

    The Lord God Jesus the Jewish Messiah, Son of Yahweh the Most High God of Israel, said:
    “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.”
    Not one. TWO.

    Sometimes, Paul was wrong. Jesus is always right. I’m following Jesus.

    Here are answers to 2 common objections:
    .a) What about the so-called “Golden Rule”?
    Jesus spoke the 3 chapters of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, including 7:12. Jesus didn’t make PART of this one verse out of context into “The Golden Rule” or “one rule.” Jesus did not use the term “Golden Rule,” it’s simply a tradition of men. The sentence begins with “So” in the NIV and Amplified Bibles, and “Therefore’ in the NASB and King James Bibles, which ties 7:12 to the previous sentences. So 7:12 cannot stand alone as One Commandment.

    .b) What about the so-called “Great Commission”?
    Jesus spoke the words recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, including “make disciples of all nations.” Jesus never used the term “Great Commission,” it’s simply a tradition of men. Yes I agree it’s a commandment given by Jesus, it’s not optional, and it applies to us today. We need to carry this out, with our own God-given abilities and talents, using the skills, and circumstances we have. But we don’t need to put words in the mouth of Jesus, we can let Jesus speak for himself, and we can listen to Him – and obey Him.

    Evangelism is part of the Second Commandment given by Jesus, to Love people. Evangelism is not the most important commandment, and it isn’t the entire Second Commandment. So if our priorities are “The Great Commission and the Great Commandment,” we have our priorities upside down and confused, and we are not listening to the voice of Jesus. Never mind what Paul said. Let’s listen to the voice of Jesus first, and get our priorities straight.

    The people who will protest most loudly against this truth are the modern “Pauls:” traveling evangelists, speakers, writers, abusive absentee mega-church pastors, Crusaders, and self-appointed “apostles” like Paul, who find it “profitable” to “be like Paul” rather than follow Jesus the Jewish Messiah.

    • evanlaar1922 says:

      wow, I am not a fan of Paul but you have gone overboard – to determine what part of the Bible is divine and to determine that you are the one who understands the inner workings of a man who met Jesus face to face is coming close to committing the most abominable sin to God.

      Paul was only giving a short cut to what Ecclesiastes was getting to – Paul knew His audience already had a connection to God – purpose of the connection was to be full of God. He then took that to the next logical step – once you are full of God’s love – Him for you, you for Him – give that love away to your neighbour. Gotta take it easy my friend – Word of God is God’s Word – just because you do not get it does not make it any less or divine

  7. Dear evanlaar1992
    Thanks for responding -You are assuming that “All Scripture is God-breathed” simply because Paul said so, once, and that this refers to the 66 books of our Bible, which were not put together until hundreds of years later.
    Here is a response to you.

    According to Jesus, which Commandment is the Most Important?

    This is a question of fact about the content of the text in the 66 Books of our Bible. It is comparing the words of Jesus with the words of Paul (and other men) regarding which one is the Most Important Commandment and which one is the Second commandment, which together fulfill the Law and the Prophets. (Not The Law the Prophets & the Writings, not “All Scripture,” not “The whole Bible”)

    It isn’t a question of men’s opinions about “what Paul really meant” or “what Paul must have known” or “what Paul was actually referring to here” or “what Paul was clearly implying” or “what we must conclude that Paul was assuming”, etc. etc.

    These lines of reasoning all go back to the false idea that “Paul must have been right and Paul couldn’t possibly be wrong, so whatever Paul was thinking at the time must have been correct, and we just have to figure out what Paul’s intended meaning was and what Paul was really thinking when he wrote these words.” That would mean that your opinion about the unknowable unwritten “mind of Paul” becomes the “Word of God.” No. Wrong.

    Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. The words spoken by Jesus, recorded in our Bible by Matthew Mark Luke & John, should be above all other words. This has literally been the Orthodox position for almost 2000 years. Paul is inferior, Jesus is superior. The words of Jesus are superior to the words of everyone else in the Bible and to everyone else in the world. Jesus is in agreement with the Law and the Prophets and came “to fulfill them.” [Matthew 5:17-20]

    What Jesus clearly and specifically said is also superior and more important than your opinions about what you think Jesus meant or implied, but didn’t say elsewhere. For example, when Jesus was speaking about “a new command I give you,” Jesus didn’t say THE new commandment, or the FIRST commandment, or the MOST IMPORTANT commandment, or the ONE commandment, or the GREATEST commandment, or ONE RULE.

    The false teaching about “one rule” is the false teaching of the Pharisees of Paul’s day, and Paul the Pharisee was pushing this false teaching. This contradicts the clear specific teaching of Jesus about the first and greatest commandment and the second. Jesus warned us about the Pharisees in Matthew chapters 15 & 16, and quoted the Prophet Isaiah regarding them:
    “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
    [Isaiah 29:13]

    • evanlaar1922 says:

      You miss the basic element of who Jesus is – stated from Genesis all the way through to Revelation – Jesus is the Word of God. The Word of God, the entire Word of God, all 66 books, God breathed – Jesus. May He open your eyes to see and give you ears to hear. Hence, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Not following all the Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant movements in the world will give you the faith you are looking for – only Jesus, the Word of God.

      • Hi evanlaar1922
        I agree with you about
        “the basic element of who Jesus is –Jesus is the Word of God.”

        The Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox) position for almost 2000 years is that the 4 Gospels Matthew Mark Luke & John are ABOVE all other books of the Bible, and I basically agree with this Orthodox position.

        The Hebrew Scriptures 2000 years ago, and even today among Orthodox Jews, are divided in to 3 sections, The Law of Moses, The Prophets, and the Writings.
        Torah, Nabi’im Kethuvim. In decending order of authority and importance.

        Here is a relevant quote from John Paul Jackson, from the following video.

        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….” [John 1:1]
        that just doesn’t mean the New Testament. Because guess what, when He came and John wrote it the New Testament didn’t exist. He was talking about the word of God, EXPRESSLY THE TORAH. In the beginning was the Torah. And you go whoa; now you’re getting heavy. That should not be heavy to us. That should not be heavy to us. That should be one of those: “of course.” But we take one step at a time.”

        John Paul Jackson – 2/28/2009 Rend The Heavens Conference
        Charlotte NC Mahesh Chavda Ministries


        or
        http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=John+Paul+Jackson+YouTube&Form=VQFRVP#view=detail&mid=E4E465431ECB131A2CFAE4E465431ECB131A2CFA

        How would Jesus prioritize “The Books” – the 66 books of what we call “The Bible?”

        Even if you believe that “all Scripture is God-breathed”, Jesus clearly told us that all Scripture is NOT equally authoritative or important. When asked, Jesus summed things up in not 1 but rather 2 commandments, based on only 2 out of the 3 accepted sections of the Hebrew Scriptures- the Law and the Prophets. He didn’t mention the Writings at that time. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus spoke of “The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

        Based on what I know right now of the Jesus of the Bible, and the Bible text itself, here is my best guess at how Jesus would order the priority of “The Books.”

        .1) The Word made flesh- 4 Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

        .2) Torah – The Law of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

        .3) The Prophecy – Acts, Revelation

        .4) The Prophets – Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets

        .5) Psalms

        .6) General letters: of the Apostles I & 2 Peter, 1 John

        .7) General letters: to the Hebrews, and from James (aka Jacob)

        .8) Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, Ruth, Esther and the other Writings

        .9) Personal letters: of The Apostle John, Jude, and Paul

  8. What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? Here are 5 to get the discussion started:

    .1) Paul’s boastful conflicting false testimonies, exaggerating and making things up about his conversion experience in Acts 22 & 26, compared to what actually happened (recorded by Luke in Acts 9).

    .2) Paul lying to the Ephesian elders saying he was “compelled by the Spirit” going to Jerusalem, when in truth he was clearly disobeying God. [Acts 19:21 – 22:21]
    .
    3) Paul exaggerating his ministry in Ephesus claiming it was “3 years night and day with tears” when really it was 3 months in the synagogue and 2 years daily in a lecture hall.
    [Acts 20:31 vs Acts 19:8-10]

    .4) Paul abandoning the Church in Corinth after a year and a half for no obvious reason, and going off on another long trip, mostly on his own, without appointing anyone else in Corinth as overseer, or giving anyone else any specific authority in the Church in Corinth.
    [Acts 18]

    .5) Paul acting as an abusive absentee overseer / pastor to the Church in Corinth years after he abandoned them, and clinging to all power and claim to control of money and all aspects of the church ministry, while he was hundreds of miles away teaching full-time in his own school in Ephesus. [1 & 2 Corinthians.]

    Paul is the “model pastor” for many modern “Pauls” like;

    a)
    Bob Coy, who still owns all the assets and controls all the money at his cult known as Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, in spite of his recent resignation as “Senior Pastor” there due to adultery with multiple woman and other major sins that he still has never specifically admitted to personally.

    b)
    Greg Laurie, the Boss of a wide-ranging personal cult empire that generally goes by the name of “Harvest.” Greg lives in Newport Beach, commutes by helicopter, and exploits the very large church he founded in Riverside from a distance, while he does his own thing in Orange County and travels around wherever he feels like, building a personal business empire with himself as the center, not Jesus.

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“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emman′u-el” (which means, God with us)." Matthew 1:23 RSV
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