“Follow Me” Means Everywhere (An Easter Post)

Jesus did not offer any conditions when He told his disciples to follow him.  He didn’t give them any specifics.  He didn’t tell them where they would be going.  He didn’t say follow me, unless I go somewhere that you don’t want to follow.  He simply said, “Follow Me.”  And that meant Everywhere.

And if I may, let me suggest on this Easter week, that there are three very specific places that we must follow Him; we must follow Him to the cross, we must follow Him to the grave; and then (and only then) we will follow Him in resurrection.

1. The Cross

“Take up your cross and follow me,” is what Jesus said.  There is no following Christ without a cross.  There is no following Christ without repentance.  Many imagine that they are following Jesus but they have not turned from their sin and toward Him.  Paul knew it and understood it.  He said, “I die daily,” and “I am crucified with Christ.”  If we are going to follow Him, following Him to the cross will be one of the first steps that we take.

2. The Grave

Just as Jesus was buried, we also must be buried with Him in Baptism.  Baptism is done by immersion (greek: baptizo) and is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul had more to say about this in his letter to the Romans, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…”  If we have followed Jesus to the cross, it is only natural that we will follow Him to the Grave.

3. The Resurrection

Finally, if we have followed Jesus to the cross and to the grave, we are promised that we will follow Him in resurrection.  “…that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:”  When we follow Jesus to the cross in repentance and to the grave in baptism, we are promised that we shall follow Him in resurrection as we are gloriously filled with the Holy Ghost!

What do you say friend?  Have you followed Him Everywhere?  If not, this Easter season would be a great time to fall in behind Jesus and let your heart sing, “where He leads me, I will follow.”

Take The Follow. You Know The Way.

A quick mental skim through the New Testament brings to mind three responses to Jesus’ command to ‘follow me’.

Some of them quit their job on the spot.  Some of them left their families.  Some of them didn’t ask a question.  Some of them never sought clarification as to what it was exactly that they would be doing if they followed Him.  They signed a blank contract.  They seized the moment.  They took the Follow.  They turned their world upside-down.

There were some others that wanted to follow.  Their answer wasn’t no.  They just had something else that they needed to do first.  “I will follow you, but first let me go bury my father.” (Luke 9:59).  Another said, “I will follow you, but first let me go say goodbye to my family.” (Luke 9:61).  And while they were doing what they thought was so important, they lost their Way.

And then there was the one that said no.  Oh, he wanted to follow at first, but then he found out that is was going to cost him something.  “Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor…and come, follow me.”  The young man went away sorrowful because what he had in this world seemed like too much to give up. 

Which group are you in today?  I think we would all like to put ourselves in the first group but if we are really honest, we will quickly recognize that we carry some characteristics of the second and third group.   Maybe there is something in your life that you feel like you have to do before you can take the follow.  “I will follow you Jesus, but first let me go ____________.”  Maybe you are just too much in love with something in this world and it seems as though you can’t give it up.

I urge you to seize the moment.  Never has there been a better time for someone to rise up and take the follow.  Our families, our friends, our classmates, and co-workers are feeling lost and confused.  Darkness grips our communities, our nation, and our world.  People everywhere are looking for a Way.

You know the Way don’t you?  Good.  Why don’t you take the Follow?

“I am the Way”  – Jesus

“Follow Me” – The Way

Follow the Leader

Welcome to The First Follower.  Believe it or not, there is a reason for the name of this “Blog Experiment”, and it has nothing to do with Twitter (however, if you are there, follow me @the1stfollower).  Allow me to explain.

I have had the desire to begin blogging for a while now but never really knew what my niche was.  “What would the purpose be?  Who would read it? (Probably my mom and a few friends….okay, Maybe.)  What would I write about?  I didn’t really have a clue where to begin.  Until a couple of weeks ago.  It was then that I stumbled upon an inspiring TED talk on leadership (actually followership, as you will see) by Derek Sivers.  I had my “Aha!” moment.  This is what he said.

“It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself.

Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership.

The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.  

There is no movement without the first follower.

We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.”

And it hit me, that is what I want to be!  I want to be a first follower.  I want to be able to say like Paul, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).  I want someone to be able to watch me and see what it means to follow Jesus.

And that is what The First Follower is all about.  It’s about sharing lessons learned as I strive to follow Christ in every area of life.  I will try to always be brief and helpful.  I will post about being a Christian in the business world, being involved in ministry, relationships, finances, goals, dreams, struggles, failures, victories, and everything else that has to do with life.  I will share many helpful resources (websites, blogs, articles, books, sermons).  And ultimately, my hope is that my following will somehow help you in your following.

So what do you say?  Will you have the guts to stand up and be a first follower with me?  Will you live a life that teaches others how to follow?  I think it’s your turn.  Stand up.  Take the follow.  Follow the Leader.

Do you have any thoughts on following, the most under appreciated form of leadership?  Leave a comment.