Follow Me

The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:43

It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Follow me.

Follow me when times are great.
Follow me when times are tough.
Follow me when you’re surrounded by loving, caring people.
Follow me when you’re all alone.
Follow me when the world is heaping praise on you.
Follow me when the world wants to stone you.
Follow me when you barely have two nickels to your name.
Follow me when your bank account is full of money.
Follow me when you have a solid roof over your head.
Follow me when a flimsy plastic covering keeps you dry.
Follow me when you’re young.
Follow me as you get grayer and grayer.
Follow me when it’s the “in” trend.
Follow me when it seems like you’re the only one.
Follow me when you can run and jump hurdles.
Follow me when you can barely sit up in bed and your pain is unbearable.

“Follow me,” Jesus says.

“Follow me.”

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God is Still on the Throne!

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Revelation 5:13

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, Revelation 7:11

When you look at these two verses, it’s easy to miss what they both have in common. God is on the throne. Ain’t that the truth!

But it’s very easy to miss in our day and age when time is marching on faster than we want and we are busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers. When all the news is telling us the end of the world is rapidly approaching, when our politicians seem to not have our best interests in mind, when our loved ones do things that are clearly not good for them, it’s easy to miss that God is still on the throne. He hasn’t fallen off.

With thanks to my theology teacher, Dr. William Thrasher:

Yesterday He loved me
Today He’ll do the same
How long will it last?
Forever, praise His name

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Imitating God

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children. Ephesians 5:1

At first glance, it’s an impossible task: imitating God. Who could even think about doing it and admitting that they are, in fact, imitating God? Some would give up because surely they aren’t up to the task.

Ah, but that’s where we’d be wrong.

The rest of the verse helps us out: “and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us, and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” How are we to imitate God? Through love.

But before you get too carried away by thinking it’s a cinch, let’s look at the verse a little closer: “and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Loving is one thing. Obviously some people are easier to love than others. Giving yourself up for that person, well, that’s a different animal altogether, isn’t it? Even the best of people are not all they’re cracked up to be.

And that includes me and you.

So, let me narrow it down to this: is there someone right now that you’re loving in such a way that it’s “sacrificial” love? If so, be encouraged because you’re imitating God.

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Check Your Tongue

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:19

This is one of those verses that I’d love to have seared into my head. Why? Because it’s so practical and pertinent. When I get stressed I tend to have “an edge” to my tongue. My tongue gets sharper and I offend much more easily. The first person I take things out on is my wife. I’ve curbed that as much as possible but it still rears its nasty head when I get stressed.

The other thing about this verse is something I’ve noticed with guys in general. We tend to “compartmentalize,” which means we turn our emotions on and off rather quickly and leave our mates behind. If we are having a heated discussion with our spouses and then decide to get romantic, it doesn’t quite work for the women. In other words, if you tell your spouse you love her and the next ten minutes berate her for not doing something you thought she should, there is a disconnect between your “I love you” and your belittling her.

Bottom line: We need to keep our tongues in check around our wives.

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Wait a Couple of Days

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. …Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. John 11:1-46

There is so much in this story that can be discussed. The very fact that Jesus stayed where He was for two more days must have driven Mary and Martha absolutely crazy. There was a reason for it but they didn’t know it. It took a great deal of trust for them not to push Him to go to their village right now! Even before he started his journey, He told them that the sickness wouldn’t end in death.

What is God saying to you? Is there something right now that He is trying to drill into your head that you question? Do you have the patience to hear the same thing over and again until YOU get it right?

I guess the bigger question is, are you going to obey what he’s telling you?

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