Thursday, December 6, 2012

Follow The Footsteps of Jesus

Scripture: (King James Version)
1 Peter 2: 21
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

My message is not concerned with the context of this verse of scripture, but rather with a thought that comes to my heart from a few of its words.  Notice the last five words of the above text - "ye should follow His steps."

(original date of this sermon was 12/30/1978)

Once again we are closing out an old year and the Lord willing entering into a new one.  We don't know what 1979 may hold for us as Jesus tarries.  We don't know what tomorrow may hold but we do know who holds tomorrow.  I'm convinced of one thing.....regardless of what may come or go in the year ahead - the best path for us to follow is in His Steps.

The example and the pattern that He (Jesus) sets is the true way of life.  He will never lead us wrong!  If you want to be safe and satisfied as you venture into a new year then Follow His Steps!  I believe the Holy Spirit's work in the life of Jesus is a blueprint or pattern of what He desires to do in all of our lives.
** - Jesus was born of the Spirit.
** - Jesus was baptized in the Spirit.
** - Jesus was led of the Spirit.
** - Jesus moved about in the power of the Spirit.
If everyone of us will follow these steps we will see amazing and powerful things happen in 1979.

But, let's just think for a few moments on the question...
         If we follow His steps where will they lead us?
First of all, if we follow His steps they will lead us to the Cross.  They will lead us to the Crucifixion.  There is no true discipleship without the Cross.  Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."  The Cross speaks of Crucifixion.  Until we voluntarily lay down our lives and be crucified with Christ we have not followed in His steps.  Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:...."  Peter in the above scripture text says  - "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps.  The crucified life is a sanctified life. 

#2 - If we follow His steps they will lead us to the place of public worship.  The Holy Bible tells us in St. Luke 4: 16 that it was His custom to be in the Lord's house on the Sabbath day...."And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read."
** -  Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.   Hebrews 10:25
** -  Worship in Spirit and Truth.     St. John 4:24

#3 - If we follow His steps they will lead us to the place of private prayer.  Often we read where Jesus got alone with the Father to pray and commune with Him.  (ex: St. Luke 9:18, Mark 1:35)  If Jesus needed to pray and be alone, how much more you and I need too as well.  

#4 - If we follow His steps they will lead us to witness to others.  In witnessing to the woman at the well in St. John 4:1-42, Jesus leaves us a great example in witnessing.  The scripture says in Verse 4,  "And he must needs go through Samaria."   Those of us who are born again of the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit and who lives are led by the Spirit - "must needs" carry living water (Jesus -John 7:37-38) to the thirsty souls in our world. (Acts 1:8 - "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.")

#5 - If we follow in His steps they will lead us on "Errands of Mercy" and works of righteousness.  Jesus teaches us that when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the stranger, and visit the sick, we have done it unto Him. (Matthew 25: 31-46)  He says in Mark 9:41, "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verify I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."   The Holy Spirit has been given us to do the works of Jesus!   John 14:12 , "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."   Ladies and gentlemen, when we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us we are to do the works of Jesus!

Let me close with one more thought................#6 - If we follow in His steps they will lead us through the portals of Glory.......either by death and a glorious resurrection of the dead in Christ OR by virtue of our Blessed Hope and His soon return and the Rapture of those alive in Christ. 
                                      Oh, what a glorious path His steps take on. 
                                                 I wouldn't follow any other steps for all the world.  
                                                                     How about you?

(Sermon ended with......following in His steps shall we gather around the Lord's table 
                                      in remembrance of Him  - The Lord's Supper.)