The Great Adventure – Following Jesus:
Jesus said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
“Saddle up your horses we’ve got a trail to blaze, Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace, Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown, This is a life like no other – this is the Great Adventure.” (Steven Curtis Chapman, the Great Adventure)
When my friend Jerrold led me to the Lord in Alberta in August of 1989, he told me about an awesome God who loved me, and sent His son Jesus to die for me. That day, I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. However, when I went back home to Saskatchewan, I didn’t have any Christian friends there, and I didn’t know that there was more to the Christian life than just getting saved and going to Heaven. For the next year, I continued to live the same defeated, depressing, sinful and worldly life that I did before I became a Christian. It wasn’t until a year later – in September of 1990, when I was visiting Jerrold again, that he began to disciple me. I spent two weeks staying at his house, and learned some of the basics of what it means to be a Christian from him and his parents. He took me to a Christian bookstore and bought me my first Bible. I bought a number of Christian books then to teach me more about living the Christian life, as well as a number of Christian music CD’s to start filling my mind with God’s Word. From that weekend – September 29-30, 1990 – I’ve never looked back. That weekend was when I started the great adventure of following Jesus.
I realize that just because a person has been born again, and committed their life to Jesus Christ, doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to know what it means to follow Jesus. They may have prayed a prayer and said, “Jesus, I want you to be the Lord of my life. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.” However, if you don’t know what the Bible has to say about being a disciple of Jesus, you can’t follow Him. So today, I want to give you three of the most basic principles that Jesus taught on being a disciple. Here they are…
1. ABIDE IN JESUS:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:7-8).
The first key to being a disciple of Jesus is to abide in Him. This means more than just “saying your prayers” but speaks of a close and intimate fellowship. When Jesus called the 12 disciples, He appointed them to first of all be with Him. That is the first and highest calling of a disciple, is to spend time with Jesus in prayer. Take time to talk with Jesus every day…
2. ABIDE IN HIS WORD:
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32).
The second key to being a disciple of Jesus is to abide in His Word – the Bible. That makes sense because a disciple is essentially a learner or a follower of a teacher. How can you follow the teachings of Jesus if you don’t know what they are? The only way to learn what they are is to read your Bible. If you don’t have a Bible, that’s one of the most important and necessary investments you can make as a Christian. Take time to read the Bible every day…
3. WALK IN LOVE:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
The third key to being a disciple of Jesus is to walk in love. This final principle is so important that Jesus said our love for one another would prove to everyone that we were true Christians. Although there are many other things involved in being a disciple of Jesus, these three are the most important foundations. Abide in Jesus (pray), abide in His Word (read your Bible), and walk in love. This is the great adventure – let’s saddle up our horses!
Pastor Chris Jordan