Sunday, July 31, 2016

Follow the Leader

So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

-- Luke 5:11

Picture one of those nights that even experienced drivers fear. 

It's extremely dark, and it's raining so hard that you can barely see over your car's hood. The fog and mist have rolled in. And you don't dare slow down or pull over to the roadside. It's a multi-car accident just waiting to happen.

So what can you do to make it safely to your destination? When it's raining cats and dogs, sometimes the best move is a serious game of Follow the Leader. That means following the dim red taillights of the vehicle in front of you and matching the driver's every turn. When he taps his brakes, you do, too. And if he bears right, you don't ask any questions. That's because you know he can already see what's up ahead. Things can get dangerous if you try to make it on your own. So ultimately, it's a matter of trust.

Isn't this a picture of what it means to be a Christ-follower? The Bible reveals that Jesus asked his disciples to follow him into storms, hostile crowds and towns full of religious hard-liners. These situations were dangerous and scary. But like the lead driver on the highway, Jesus knew what was ahead. And he led those who believed in him to experience life in its fullest.

That was fine 2,000 years ago. But what does it mean to follow Jesus in the 21st Century?

What was true back then is still true today. It starts with following Jesus' examples of growing closer to God through regular prayer, Bible reading, worship and gathering with other believers. We can also imitate him by being a friend to the weak and helpless, sharing our material blessings and being an advocate for justice. That, too, can be scary at times. But it's all meant to help us experience life as our Creator meant it.

How are you doing so far on your faith journey? Whether the skies along the way have been dark and stormy or sunny and clear, the same wisdom applies: Stay on the narrow road and follow the Leader! 

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