Expectations of a Follower of Jesus Christ

DATE POSTED: Tuesday, May 16, 2023, and I was blessed to be at O’Brien, FL when I wrote this blog post. If short on time to read my devotional, please consider visiting Apple Podcasts at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/nuggets-from-gods-word/id1558668439. On the Apple Podcast app, simply search for Nuggets From God’s Word and click ‘Follow’ to be notified of updates.


THE BIBLE TEXT IS: Great crowds were following him. He turned around and addressed them as follows: “Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise he cannot be my disciple. And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me.

MY INITIAL THOUGHTS: I wonder how many converts a church might see if they presented these Scripture verses and allowed it to speak of the expectations Jesus taught. I agree, it is easy to accept Jesus as Lord, but so is a wedding ceremony, yet many marriages end in divorce. Please read or listen to my full devotional as there may be encouragement or advice to help you overcome the temptations of this world, or the false pretenses of the followers of Jesus’ day.

APPLICATION OF THE WORD: I’m not sure what attracts some to church, but it is obvious that the crowd Jesus spoke to were following Him for the ‘show’ – the miracles, the idea of Jesus’ words crushing the toes of the guilty as His teachings challenged their actions against His commands. As I read this, I tried to look at a literal example to see how committed I am in trusting in Jesus and truly committing myself to Him as a priority in my life. Think for a moment if your spouse or mother shamed you into spending time with them on a Sunday morning, but in your act of surrendering your life to Jesus, you had promised Him that you would always spend time with Him and other believers at church around the same time each Sunday, unless providentially hindered. What might you decide to do with the invitation from your mom/wife? Suppose you felt strongly that the Lord would heal your sister of a nasty disease if you would attend church this week. Will you cancel all other appointments and commitments so you could attend? But isn’t this exactly what the crowd did in following Jesus? But He saw the need to challenge them with the words we are meditating on today. So, what do you suppose He really meant in challenging the crowd like He did? Kind ‘a reminds me of a friend who would say that they accepted our invitation for an event, but what we soon learned, is that the acceptance was only good if nothing better came along! Friends, I hope that you don’t do like the crowd in our story today, to follow Jesus only when you need something – like the crowd needed healing so they followed Jesus; or get that ‘good feeling inside’, like the crowd did in wanting to see more miracles from One claiming to be ‘the King of the Jews’. When I was in the working world, I owed my allegiance to my boss, for he provided my paycheck, and benefits, like few other employees did. If I had not given up on all the other local employers, where the ‘grass’ may have seemed much greener than my employer, I don’t feel like I would have given my all to my employer and perhaps been unfaithful in many ways. It seems like the examples of Jesus were all intended to catch us right where we are at the time. Ever noticed where you would read a Scripture that you’ve read multiple times before, but yet this time it stands out like Jesus is getting right in our face about our current situation? That’s because the same God who created you, now wants your attention in a certain area of your life, so He causes you to accept His word and apply it to your life for your good and His glory. These are the times and experiences that I like to share with you through my blog/podcast. Although Jesus wanted to get the attention of the crowd regarding true dedication and commitment to Him, and not merely following Him out of convenience or special need, it seems like in our world today, we may have gotten worse than the crowd could possibly have been. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, more important to Jesus than doing the job of His Father’s command so that we would have the means of salvation from all earthly sin and a home in glory for all eternity. This meant giving up on His mother – for He was crucified in her presence; giving up on His brothers and all others who looked to Him as Lord, for His priority was His Father’s will, and His purpose was in those on His mind – us. He could have called many angels to rescue Him from that cross, but He didn’t. In our life today, there may be many temptations to give up on our Christian walk and just enjoy the world. Remember, being a follower of Christ, or a Christian, means that we are determined to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We will never find anywhere in the Bible where He gave up on us, nor should we ever give in to temptation and give up on Jesus. I believe that our ‘cross’ represents the attraction of this world to which we must commit to set aside and ALWAYS be true to our Father in heaven! The world is waiting and watching to see real men and women of God, not wimps who push Him aside when the temptations of this world seem more attractive.

BLESSINGS WORTH NOTING: We can be more than conquerors when we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the One who created us, died for us and has gone to prepare a place for us. Commitment means putting all else aside in order to give full attention and obedience to our Lord and Savior!

PRAYER BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT OF TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: To follow in Your example, or to learn of Your commands, we must be willing to talk with You and to read Your Word daily, so that we might be reminded of Your commands. Lord, You know how passionate the evil one is in trying to distract us from doing any of the aforesaid, but today we stand firm in Your power to help us overcome evil; Your love in helping us to know that You care for us and want Heaven’s best for us; and Your will to help us live the life we commit to You that we will live. Please help us to be more than conquerors, and to be a living example for the unsaved looking for proof of what a true, or real, child of God looks like. So often they need this in order to encourage them to accept the Lord Jesus knowing that He will intercede on our behalf and help us through life here on earth. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There is a page on my blog that will provide you with additional information entitled ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit ,y podcast, as noted above, and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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