“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17).
According to John 3:16-17, we must all believe that Jesus was crucified on the cross and rose on the third day to be followers of Christ. In the Book of John, chapter 14, verse 6, Jesus declares that He is “‘the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him].’”
We all have the choice to be a Christ follower. Before we can fully commit to the Lord, we must ask ourselves tough questions.
Am I willing to give up my old life completely to follow after God?
Am I willing to be obedient when God calls me to do something?
Will I stand up for my beliefs when I am being persecuted for being a Christian?
It takes courage and boldness to be a Christian and stand up for our faith. To follow after God whole-heartedly means we must surrender our lives to Him. Being a devoted Christian is not for the weak but for those who are strong in their beliefs. We cannot let what others think about us affect our Christian walk. The world will mock us for the decisions we have made to be a Christ follower. First Corinthians 11:1 says we are “[an imitator] of [Jesus], as [He is] of Christ.” According to this Scripture, once we are Christians, we act Christ-like and look more like Jesus every day.
We are to know God on an intimate level. We are to know His Word and know Him in our hearts. John 1:1 says, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” According to Matthew 7:13-14, not many are Christ followers. The Scripture bluntly states that a few will “enter through the narrow gate.” The wide gate “leads to destruction and many enter through it”; the narrow gate “leads to life.”
A follower of Christ will be set apart from the world. Christians will be judged by the words they say and how they act. Few people will choose the “narrow gate” because living for Christ means giving up everything we have ever known and learn a new way of living. The majority will say, “it will not be worth it” but the minority will say, “it is worth it all.” This is where we see the difference between a fan of Christ and a follow of Christ. A fan will blend into the crowd and a follower will stand out from the crowd.
The world may be full of chaos and confusion, but Jesus brings light into the darkness. John 8:12 says, He “is the light of the world. Whoever follows [Him] will not walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” Jesus is our hope in a world full of hurt and disappointments. God brings a world of chaos back into order. He dries up our tears and gives us joy. He heals our hurts and surrounds us with His compassion.
When we accept Christ in our hearts and believe He died for our sins, our faith flourishes into new levels with God. It is inevitable to see change in our lives and see Christ working in us as we are strengthening our faith in Him.
As we continue growing as Christians, we turn from being a fan into a follower. Followers of Christ understand that no matter what God calls them to do, they will not hesitate to obey Him. They also understand that making sacrifices to be closer to Christ is worth it!
Today, I encourage you to make a life-changing decision to follow after God with all your heart! If you are struggling in life right now, trust that God will see you through it. If you have doubts about following after God, take a bold step forward and see how God can transform your life. If you need help making this decision, find a pastor or a Christian friend to answer any questions you have on becoming a Christian or how to grow in your Christian walk. You are never alone in this journey with God!
I challenge you to evaluate your life and see how you are living out your Christian walk. What are some areas in your life that you need to surrender to God? What are some areas you would like to work on to be more Christ-like?
Write down some ways you can have a deeper relationship with God. Think about what it means to be a Christ follower and how that is compared to being a fan of Jesus.