Like it was in the beginning.
“After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, ‘Follow Me.'” (Luke 5:27)
That was the way of leadership in the early church. Leaders were following Christ. “And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Least you think that was then and it’s different now, think again. “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow me;” (John 10:27) If truth can be told I have to say, “We can do a lot better at following.”
Our problem is that it is easier to follow someone else. They wont set so high a mark. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) We think it’s safe, and surly more comfortable to follow our group, imperfect saints following each other. Denominations, TV evangelists, seminaries, preachers, teachers and even bloggers would tell us what to follow, but Jesus says, “Follow Me.”
The apostle Paul saw this problem creating division in the church and tried to nip it in the bud. “My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:11-13) When picking a favorite to follow we miss the mark and are in jeopardy of bearing the fruit of division.
There are saints, treasures in God’s kingdom, whose EXAMPLES we can follow. “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:20) They set examples for us as they “follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) If they seem to be few and far in-between we must look to ourselves as the reason. Are we following Jesus? Are we an example of someone who is following Christ’s example? Holy leadership hears His voice saying, “Follow Me.”
To follow Christ’s example is to deny ourselves. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21) Jesus denied Himself for us, will we do the same for the sake of others?
Father, make us vessels fit for honorable use in Your kingdom as we follow Your Son. We pray in Jesus’ name.
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:26)