Scenario: your best friend calls you and asks you a simple question.
“Hey, would you mind watching my dog for me next week?”
Before you can think of an appropriate answer some part of your brain says out loud, “Sure.” And just like that you are trapped.
I don’t know if y’all are dog people, but I tend to avoid them because they are super dependent on you and smelly and pee everywhere (to name a few).
While Dan would definitely disagree with my view on dogs, if I had to watch a dog for a week it would absolutely ruin my week. I have just gone from a normal week to a week where every decision I make is based on that smelly animal.
And I would also probably complain to other people about having a dog, therefore people would know I have a dog in my possession. I’m sure there would be some tweets along these lines:
Alright alright I’ll stop hating on dogs. They’re cool I guess, they just don’t really have any part of my life and that’s how I prefer it… but the point I’m trying to make is this:
My friend asked a simple question: will you watch my dog? But in reality it was so much more than that.
Jesus did the same thing here in John 21, which we talked about last night. His request is simple in verse 19:
Jesus simply asks us to follow Him. But just like with the request to watch the dog, this means so so much more than what the question asks on the surface (I hope you can sense that what Jesus says means waaaaay more than the random dog sitting question).
The premise is the same: commit this to me. Give me your time, and make me a huge part of your life.
But with Christ, following Him cannot be a simple venture that is tackled meekly or with half effort.
God has not called us to be luke warm, as I’m sure you’ve heard before. It says so in Revelation 3:15-16:
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
We have to Follow Him, no matter where He goes or what that means for our lives because we are giving up our own lives.
"Whoah, whoah, we're giving up our lives??" (that's your internal monologue as you read this)
Yep. Just as Jesus asked His disciples to follow Him, Jesus is also asking us to die to ourselves daily.
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
He died for us so that we could follow Him. He loves us unconditionally so that we can follow Him wholeheartedly. He forgave our sins so that we can follow Him to the gates of Heaven. He led a perfect life so that we could follow Him perfectly.
This isn’t an easy task, in fact you will mess this up every single day.
"Wait, every day? That hardly seems like it's worth it then..."
Christ led a perfect life so that our sin, while constant and evil and deserving of Hell, can be forgiven. He died so that we may live, what once was dead has come to life!
How could we not follow Him! The perfect life of Jesus, the loving Father who hears our prayers, the Holy Spirit who fills us with peace like a river and love overflowing… we can have all of this, and all you have to do is answer a simple call– Follow. Me.
If we follow Christ with everything our life is, while it is sinful and broken, it would rock this world. Others would literally have no choice but see Christ working in your life. Lives would be changed, revival would spread throughout your schools and you would have more joy than you ever thought possible.
It’s one simple, complete, life-changing, permanent, loving request. Follow me.
Jesus loves you, specifically you more than you could ever fathom or imagine. He wants you to be happy and know that you are being taken care of by God. No matter the things this cruddy, dirty, disgusting world throws at you one thing is always certain.
He is with you. And God wants you to understand completely He means it, so the request is simple: Follow Him.
Dear Lord, help us to follow You.
In everything we do, in all the people we see, in all of the sin we encounter, show us how to follow You through these things. Give us courage to fight evil. Give us wisdom to handle situations as You would. Give us peace to not let stress eat away at us. Show us Your love, give us Your guidance. Show us the path to following You. We love You Lord, Amen.