Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verse: John 14:15 (NKJV) “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
To begin our discussion on what we must do to follow Christ, I thought a great place to start would be remind ourselves of a group of people who struggled to follow God during their long journey. Of course I’m talking about Israel as they wandered in the wilderness after their exodus from Egypt. Moses led them through this journey and just before his death, he spoke to them to remind them of their covenant with God and the importance of saying yes to God during their lives.
Deuteronomy 8:11-18 (NKJV) “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
What must I do as I follow Christ?
James 1:22-25 (NLT) But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
1. Know His Word
James 1:22a But don’t just listen to God’s word…
It is not enough that you take a casual approach to God’s Word, we must truly know it.
To know God’s Word requires three things…
• Read it
Joshua 1:8a Study this Book of Instruction continually…
Meditate – ha-GAH (to mutter)
• Think about it
Joshua 1:8b …Meditate on it day and night…
• Obey it
Joshua 1:8c … so you will be sure to obey everything written in it…
James 1:22b …You must do what it says.
2. Know His Way
James 1:22c-25 …Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Only from our constant seeking of Him and study of His Word will we find His way for our lives. This knowledge doesn’t show up on its own.
Joshua 1:8b-9 Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
John 14:15 (NKJV) “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Following Christ is our response to His gift of salvation. We are not saved because of what we do or how we live, it is grace through faith in Jesus Christ, period. BUT, following Christ is the proof of what He has done within us.
Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.