What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus??


 

But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and leave the dead [in sin] to bury their own dead.
And after He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.
And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping.
Matthew 8:22-24

As I was reading this passage of scripture something caught my attention. The word says, after Jesus got into the boat, His disciples got into the boat and suddenly there arose a violent storm! Not just a storm but a violent storm. Why did Jesus go on to the boat then? In fact why did He allow the disciples to follow Him onto the boat?? I am sure He knew a storm would come. They could of stayed on  land until the storm passed but instead He went on to the boat! The disciples had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
It is not easy following Jesus. A lot of people think it is but it’s not! Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee a pain free life. In fact it might mean more challenges and more trouble but why???

The answer is found further down in the scripture I shared. The disciples were freaking out. They thought they were in mortal danger!!! (Matthew 8:25)
And that is the thing about this walk we have chosen. The danger is real. The trials are real. The troubles we face can take us out! As the disciples thought they would die so it is with us. But Jesus had a plan. He wasn’t taking them into the storm for the fun of it. He wanted to teach them something. He wanted them to learn something.

And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness). Matthew 8:26

Jesus equated their fear and timidity for a lack of faith!!! Very interesting….They were not over reacting when they were asking Jesus to save them. The storm was real, the boat was sinking so one would think their reaction was totally normal but no, Jesus equated it to lack of faith!!!!
In the storm we need to trust God. He is the ONLY One who can get us out of it. The only One!!
Your foreboding and anxious thoughts and your fear are showing Him how much you DON’T trust Him!!
Fear is a natural response to danger but how we respond when fear comes is important.

I want you to know, Jesus is with you in the storm. He wants your faith. Will you stop looking at the magnitude of the storm and turn to Him in faith? He will save you. He wants to strengthen your faith in Him. He is good. He does not allow storms into our lives for the fun of it. He has a plan.

Rolain

Understanding New Testament Worship…



We all have an idea of what worship is. Some people think that worship is a song, others think its going to church and list goes on and on. None of these ideas on worship are wrong. Worship is so big and diverse I don’t think there is a single word that can describe it fully.
I was at Bible school and the lecturer was speaking on worship. What he taught made sense. Worship must not be confined to just church. If we do then we miss out on the other important facets of worship. There are things that make up worship and that is what I am going to talk about in this post.
The first thing New Testament worship is about, is controlling our flesh which includes our our tongue and temper.
There is a problem if we go to church and “worship” but we are reckless with our words and our temper. It is a problem when you call yourself a worshiper but you cannot control your flesh!
Our worship to God needs to be redefined. It’s not enough to just worship God at church and think that’s enough.

Rom 12:1-3 says

12 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Part of New Testament worship is renewing your mind. You do that by getting the Word of God in you. You are worshiping God when your mind is being renewed with His word.

Another aspect of New Testament worship is being thankful. We are called to live a life of thanksgiving to God and its not once a week or once a month but daily! Are you a thankful person? A thankful person is a worshiper. If you “worship” at church but you are ungrateful then that is called a problem. That is not worship. Look at what 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says:

16 Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always);

17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];

18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].


We need to have a holistic view of worship. Its not just about the songs but its about what we think, what we say, how we treat people, if we are self controlled and so on! Its about whats in your heart. God is very interested about whats in your heart. True worship stems from the heart. When your heart is filled with God it is easier to be thankful. It is easy to control your temper. It is easy to stop focusing on yourself and focus on other people.

I have been meditating on this revelation for a bit now. As you know, I will not teach something for the sake of it. It must be something I am applying in my own life. This is high calling we called to.

As I end please understand that it is OK to worship in church but don’t stop there. Realize that worship at church is one aspect that makes up worship and there are a lot more things that complete it. Don’t focus on just one aspect but look at worship as a whole.

Rolain