BE CAREFUL WHO YOU FOLLOW

I overheard a conversation recently where some people were discussing who they’d follow off a cliff. Of course, they were referring to qualities that make an individual a leader worth following. I know for sure my list of people I’d follow off a cliff is pretty short. How about yours?

But are you careful about who you follow through life? On social media?

A Man Worth Following

Today I’m reading the Gospel of John. Have you ever read the Gospel of John? If not, you really  should stop reading this post and go read the first chapter right now! If you have read it, then you probably already know that it was written by John, the devoted disciple of Christ. In this God-inspired book, John gives us a personal and powerful look at Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.

I’ve read it many times but today three verses leapt off the page at me and clarified my purpose as a believer, once again.

I want to share what I learned as well as remind you of the importance of being in the Word every day.

Hebrew 4:12 says,

The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.

The Greek word for “word” in Hebrews 4:12 is rhema and refers to the single promise(s) or words the Holy Spirit may bring to our mind from the Word of God (logos–God’s Word in its entirety, completeness)

So today I read the logos and received the rhema! Look!

John 1: 35-37

Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

John and John

Notice this about John referenced in vv. 35-37:

  • “John” in this passage refers to John the Baptist.
  • John, one of the 12 disciples, is writing about John the Baptist and his work.
  • John the Baptist was a God-appointed messenger to announce the coming of the Savior.
  • He aimed at obedience to the task.
  • People were moved by his words as he spoke the truth, challenging them to turn from their sins.
  • He baptized hundreds.
  • Although they were his disciples or followers, he always pointed them beyond himself, never forgetting that his  main role was to announce the coming of the Savior.
  • He looked at Jesus

In this passage in John 1: 35-37 we notice that the Savior has come and is engaged in His earthly ministry. As John stands with two of his disciples, he looks at Jesus and announces to them that He is the Lamb of God. I can just imagine that he gave a little head nod toward Jesus, directing his disciples’ attention to Jesus; and not only to Jesus, but away from himself!

How convincing and persuasive and trustworthy a man he must have been! For the Word says, when they heard him (John the Baptist) speak, the followed Jesus.

Again, I can imagine the reaction of John the Baptist as these men walked away from him and toward the Savior. He clenched his fist, and quietly whispered, “Yes!”

The Useful Word

I couldn’t help but notice how the events of this story stand in stark contrast to our modern world of “gospel messengers”—–including you and me. We want to point others to the Savior but we kinda want them to follow us, too. Especially those of us proclaiming “Behold, the Lamb of God” on the internet and social media. (Be honest. Do you ever post and then check to see how many “likes” or comments or page views you’ve gotten?)

Social media and the internet can be a wonderful tool. And maybe I’m the only one who’s ever struggled with wanting others to like me on Facebook and in real life.

All the more reason I go the Word often!!

Today the Holy Spirit illuminated a passage I’d read dozens of times to remind me of my purpose (and yours). The rhema, the single promise or word from the logos (entire Word of God) reminded me of this today:

  1. Pointing others to Christ is everything. Our purpose as believers is to encourage others to follow the Lamb of God.
  2. To do that faithfully and effectively we must be looking at Jesus. Too often we are self-focused or self-conscious. Being in the Word and surrendered to the work of the Holy Spirit in us, will keep our attention on the Savior so that we can point others to the only One worth following.

So who are you following?

If you’re following anyone who’s not looking at Jesus and leading you to Jesus, you might just find yourself following him or her off a cliff.

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