Not a game but a lifestyle!
Recently I was reminded by a friend of mine about a game I am sure we all played at one time or another when we were growing up. In fact, as I work through this devotion you and I may realize it is a game we may still play today, except with a different emphasis. The game I am taking about is “Follow the Leader.”
This is an event which forces us to be copycats of a sort. As the activity goes, if the person chosen to be the leader does some specific movement, then all other participants are called on to reproduce the action. If you mess up and do not properly repeat what the leader has done, then you are booted out. The last follower standing is the new leader! So goes the event.
In today’s world there are a lot of people whose purpose is to try and follow the leader. The leader they are attempting to emulate as closely as they can, may be a business tycoon, an athlete, a music entertainer, an actor/actress, an older brother/sister, or maybe even in some cases a parent. Some of these leaders may be exemplary models and others sad to say might very well be poor examples to be closely following. Who you are looking up to and setting your actions by can influence you in positive or negative ways. We need to be careful in our decision on who we follow.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Come follow Me!” Jesus was not talking about a game He was asking them to play. He was talking about a lifestyle He wanted them to take on. A life of submission to His teachings and to the perfect will of His Father. This was not a short-term commitment, but it was one which would last until the time they were called out of this sin-filled world. The call Jesus made to His apostles was a call to discipleship that would come under His leadership as their Master.
Looking at those faithful followers, who have gone before us into heavenly glory, I bet if you asked them if following Jesus was a game they would respond “absolutely not”! Many of these saints died having Jesus’ name on their lips, they suffered torture while crying out to the Lord for strength, and they walked the road of societal rejection while being ostracized for their faith. No way can it be said following Jesus is merely a game!
Jesus lived a perfect and righteous life, He had a heart of compassion for the lost, and His desire to see all men saved was a testament of His great love for all people, even His enemies. If there is a person one should desire to follow in thought, word, and action, Jesus, the Son of God, and Savior of all, is most definitely the only candidate that can fit such an honorable position. Come let us follow Him, for where He leads there is life, hope, and joy beyond measure. Pastor McCarty