Let's Talk About Jesus
What would you say if someone asked you, “Why do you follow Jesus?” Can you answer this question? Often people tell me that they follow Jesus because they have experienced him. Well, what does that mean? Let us first admit there is a certain level of mystery to following Jesus. It is called God’s grace. Grace is what God does. We can never follow Jesus without God’s grace! God first calls us. God comes for us. This is indeed mystery. But, can we dig deeper, how do we experience Jesus in our lives? To me, there are a few answers.
Jesus gives us hope. The image of resurrection informs us, life here on earth is not as good as it gets. There is resurrection of our troubles and trials. For the lepers, there was a resurrection not only of their bodies, but of their social status. The lame were not stuck in the state of brokenness. Their bodies were healed. Ultimately, the resurrection gives us hope in death. Death is not final. That is some serious hope!
Along with hope, there is transformation. I am not today the person that I was when I first chose to follow Jesus. Life in pursuit of Jesus, a life of prayer, Biblical Study and worship leads us into the glory of Christ and into transformation. Our transformation tends to begin with a greater understanding of our sin nature. Understanding the sin nature leads to a larger concept of God’s love and grace. When a Christian says, “I simply experience Jesus,” they might mean that they have felt the power of forgiveness and the freedom from the power of guilt and shame. Jesus slowly forms us into little Christ’s. This is a good thing.
Purpose! Jesus gives us purpose. Great events, efforts, and adventures are driven by a strong sense of purpose. In my own life, my greatest achievements have been driven by purpose. Mountains have been hiked simply to see the awe on the faces of my children when the vista is reached. Seminary was conquered only because I sensed within me the purpose to make Jesus real to others. Purpose drives us. Our purpose, according to Jesus is to love our neighbor, to make disciples of all nations, and to share the good news. That purpose will lead us on adventures we never imagined were possible! Jesus is GOOD!
Why do you follow Jesus? I would love to hear your thoughts. Certainly, there are more reasons than hope, transformation and purpose. Let me know your stories, and share them with those you care about. Jesus is Good!
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