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Self-Examination: Do I follow Jesus, or Am I Trying to Make Jesus Follow Me?

This week, both of my preacher boy clubs met, as is our usual, and we discussed “popular Christianity” versus actual followers of Christ. When we looked over and discussed the differences, we came to a conclusion: many people don’t follow, or outright reject, the Christ portrayed by the Scriptures, and many of these create a version that suits their interests. Their Jesus isn’t interested in saving souls: he’s an activist, emotional support buddy, a wise teacher, a guru. He’s whatever they want him to be (note I’m not capitalizing the Him as I usually do, this isn’t the real Jesus I’m talking about), and they don’t even really look at him as a savior. They want their Jesus as a Facebook Follower: he likes and approves of every choice they make, and everything they do and say, even leaves affirming comments about the things they choose to do (even when they’re self-destructive, and way against Scriptures). Yet, when it comes to Jesus, I have a hard truth we all need to follow: Jesus is Lord, He is God, He is at the Right Hand of the Father, and we all need to shut up and bow down, or move out of His way. Any version of Jesus outside of what the Scriptures reveal to us is not Jesus at all! Jesus is not a man, that He should change or vary with the culture, He is the Holy Uncreated One, the Beginning and the End, the Author of the Universe and anything in it, and is the same yesterday as He is today as He will be tomorrow. Our opinions of Him don’t matter, and He won’t bend if we’re offended. He is the Cornerstone on which all of redemption is founded, and all things were created by Him, are for Him and held together by Him. He has every right to tell us what we should and should not do; He is the Author of life, after all! Our only response should be (and some day shall be for every knee and tongue) to confess Him as Lord, and to drop to our knees in worship. If I follow Jesus, then I will seek Him through His word and do what He says. He is exclusive like that, saying “If you love me, you’ll keep my commands.” So we all need to ask ourselves this question: do I follow Jesus, or am I trying to make Him follow me? Examine your heart, and adjust your life accordingly. Eternity is long, and where you spend it depends on if you know Him or not! Acts 4:1-22 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men[c] by which we must be saved.”

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

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