Follow Me

Posted on 10/06/2013 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

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TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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HE IS THE KING OF KINGS

He is the King of Kings
He is the Lord of Lords
His name is Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus
O, He is the King!

His name is Jesus, Jesus
sad hearts we've no more
He can heal the broken hearted
open wide the prison door
And He's able to deliver evermore!


BLESS THE LORD

I will bless the Lord at all times
I will bless the Lord at all times
His praise shall continually
be in my mouth


BLESS THE LORD

Bless the Lord, O my soul
And all that is within me
bless his holy name

God is so good
God is so good
God is so good
He's so good to me

He saved my soul
He saved my soul
He saved my soul
He's so good to me

He is coming soon
He is coming soon
He is coming soon
Bless his holy name




Dear Father God, Thank You for raining down Your presence in thus place. Continue You work here, I beseech You. I ask that You would reign forever in our hearts. As I speak Your Word and share my heart...may those here seek Your heart and Your will for their lives. I pray this in the name of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ...Amen!

Please be seated.

Today's fireside chat is called "Follow Me." I looked up the word follow on the dictionary.com website and it says:
verb (used with object)
to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.: The speech follows the dinner.
to go or come after; move behind in the same direction: Drive ahead, and I'll follow you.
to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to: Many Germans followedHitler.
to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: to follow orders; to follow advice.
to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar: They follow the latest fads.

When someone follows someone else, there has to be a leader! Like when I was a child I LOVED playing follow the leader. It was one time that my brother HAD to listen to me...well sort of! :) Who are you following?

When someone follows something, there has to be something before them. Slaves would follow the "drinking gourd" to get to the North. I learned a song about it. (sing a portion of "follow the drinking gourd") What are you following?

Are you following me, Ben, or some other ministry leader? Or are you following after Jesus?

Are you following a certain set of man-made rules that bind you? Or are you following the Law of God that sets people free?

Are you following this sin-filled world or a Savior, a redeemer who has shown us the path to righteousness?

I love the phrase "Follow Me" that Jesus said to those He called to be His disciples. And what's amazing...THEY FOLLOWED HIM! Was it something in His voice? The way He said "Follow Me?" His eyes? Whatever it was, they followed Him for three years. All but one, John, died because they professed Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives and would follow Him forever even if that meant death for them.

Go with me to the New Testament verses where Jesus calls out His disciples. Can you hear Him saying "Follow Me" to you and me as well?

We'll be looking at the Four Gospels in order.

Matthew chapter 4 starting at verse 18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Do you see the four Jesus calls first? Peter, Andrew, James, and John. I call Peter, James, and John Jesus' "core" group. The three men out of the twelve that were the closest. Four fishermen that fished for, well, fish have now started to fish for men! At the calling of Jesus to them...they came!

Matthew 9 verse 9: 9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him. What was it about Jesus that brought these men to His "group?" I would have loved to interview them! Ask them what it was about Jesus that propelled them to accept His call to follow Him!

Onward to the book of Mark. If you notice in Mark 2 verse 14 it says Levi the son of Alphaeus NOT Matthew, BUT they are the same person...just so you know :) Mark has the same accounts as Matthew almost to the same word so I won't read those,but I would advise you to go study them for yourselves. :)

Next is Luke, which also has the same versions as Matthew. :) Which if you think about it, is a good thing! The four gospels bring credibility to the Word of God! They are exactly alike in their tellings; maybe not in word for word, but in meaning.

The Fourth Gospel...John. In John chapter 1 we read, starting at verse 43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
Philip said to him, "Come and see."
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!"
48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?"
Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
50 Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these." 51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."

Philip was one of the first people who, when Jesus called Him, he went to his friend and said, "Come and see." Nathanael came with him and he DID see! Philip seems to have been a born missionary :)

So what is the cost of discipleship? The Bible tells us! Luke chapter 9 verse 57-62 says:
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay Hishead."
59 Then He said to another, "Follow Me."
But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
61 And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Jesus makes it very clear: Following Him won't be an easy task. His disciples MUST leave ALL for Him! Family. Friends. Work. EVERYTHING. For some it is too high a price. Example...the rich, young ruler.

Matthew 19 tells it this way, beginning at verse 16:

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"
17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
18 He said to Him, "Which ones?"
Jesus said, "'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 19 'Honor your father and your mother,'[h] and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "[i]
20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth.[j] What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

This younger ruler thought he could take everything he owned with them. He wouldn't have to give up anything, but Jesus told him otherwise. "Take all you have and give it to the poor." Maybe Jesus isn't telling YOU to do that, but maybe there is something else. Something that has "stolen" your heart away from Him, and He wants you to give it up. He wants you to FOLLOW HIM with your WHOLE heart, not just part of it!

There are a few places in the Bible where I want to scream at God... "NO GOD! DON'T MAKE ME DO THAT!!" and I HAVE screamed at Him. I've kicked and begged. I've wept over things that I THOUGHT I had needed at the time...and even at times now I STILL think I need certain things. I'm selfish. I'm even childish at times. Throwing a tantrum...but God keeps calling out to me. "Follow Me and only Me, child."

One of those places in the Bible where I so dislike the words is the "deny yourself and pick up your cross" stuff. I'm like, BUT GOD! I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't deny myself such and such...and what is this pick up my cross thing? I mean I COULDN'T pick up a REAL cross...it would weigh me down.

And then...this little voice...softly at first and it grow louder...exactly...it says. A cross is something that is heavy. It is our "lot" to bear. It is more importantly our saying that we "lay down" our ambitions, our plans, our dreams and we "take on" HIS ambitions, His plans, and His dreams for us. It is heavy, for His plans for us aren't always easy to follow, but always worth it!

I hope today you have heard the call of Jesus saying "Follow Me." Follow Him into a more Jesus-filled life. Follow Him into a future where He reigns eternal in your life. Follow Him into a time where He is the only thing that takes first place in your heart.

If you haven't taken the step forward to accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, but you have heard Him say "Follow Me," what are you waiting for? He won't leave you. He is always faithful. His arm is not too short that He won't be able to reach you if you fall and the waves are covering your head. He can pull you out of any and all situations. Cry out to Him. Say, "Yes, Lord. I'm ready to follow You!" And do it!

Come to the altar now and answer His "Follow Me." Your life will change forever for the better.

Maybe you HAVE answered His "Follow Me" and He is Lord and Savior of your life, but maybe right now He is calling you to "Follow Him" to a new area of life. Change is coming and some of us don't like it. God is saying "Follow Me!" He's the best leader! He'll protect us and keep covered under His wings. So answer His call to "Follow Him."
He'll never leave nor forsake you. He holds you in the palm of His hand.

If you want someone to pray with you or need ministry, please message one of us and we'd be happy to help in any way we can.

Whenever you need to leave, you're free to do so, and if you can stay after this time at the altar, you're invited to make your way up the steps into the room to your left, and we'll meet there in a few minutes for some fellowship.

May God bring peace, grace, and mercy as we all follow after Him into the future. He has seen it and He can carry us through. Following Him is the only way to overcome what lies ahead and to be victorious over the enemy!