Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God  Luke 9:60

No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God  Luke 9:62

By the Grace of God, I am being led away from the 40 hour (actually that was seldom) corporate vocation, to praising His Name through writing (blog, books).  As I have been on this journey and researched aspects of getting the word out, one of the things that is stressed, is social media (Facebook, twitter, blogs just to mention a few).  Now there is a whole system of thought around the concept of etiquette on social media.

So where am I going with this in terms of this post?  With the onset of the pervasiveness of social media has come a fundamental movement expanding the definitions of certain concepts (also please don’t think this is a rant against social media).  One of those fundamental expansions is in the term follower.  And here is where the etiquette comes in to play in terms of what follower is about.  For example, on Twitter, if, as you are posting things, someone decides to click the “follow” button so that your tweets will show up on their page, it is considered polite to “follow” them back.  There are similar concepts in appropriate behavior when it comes to liking sites on various platforms (I liked yours will you like mine?)  Yet, having done the polite thing, what then is the consequence.  I may have thousands of “followers” on a particular account, but how many actually read and/or think about anything I’ve posted.  We potentially have “friends” whom we have, not only not met, but we don’t really know anything about them other than a few words or pictures.  Thus, in today’s culture, often there is a sense of acceptance and power based on a number of “followers” and/or “friends” that a person has.  Conversely, I may indeed feel that I have really made some sort of profound statement simply by clicking a button that says follow or friend, even though there is no change in my thoughts or behavior by doing that.  Christ teaches us that we have to be very purposeful and careful in using those words.

While there was no electronic social media while Jesus was alive, there was definitely a social process that news got passed.  How many times did Christ tell those He healed not to proclaim, who specifically it was who healed them, but give the Glory to God.  Yet Jesus’ fame spread.  He became very popular.  Jesus called people to come and follow him.  Many answered yes……….and then they added a but; but, I need to bury my father, but I want to follow your new way, but hold on to my old ways as well, I’ll follow you but don’t ask me to sell the things I have.  “But small is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few find it.” Matthew 7:14.  There were twelve, whom Jesus chose, who decided to stay with Him (although one would betray him).  In describing the cost of following Christ, Peter states:  “See, we have left all and followed you.”  Luke 18:28

So the obvious question, in our world today, is why would I give all this up to follow anyone!?  What’s in it for me!?  I know that seems like such an unChristian question; but isn’t it great that the Son of God come to earth, knew that we would be asking those questions inside and provide us with an answer?  Why work to find the small gate and the narrow way?  Because it leads to life!  Why give up everything to follow Christ?  Because: “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time and in the age to come eternal life”  Luke 18:30.  I truly find it incredibly amazing and comforting, that He who was from the beginning, with God and is God, would not answer all of our questions with:  “Because I said SO!!!!” (a phrase as a parent I swore I would never use and found myself exasperatingly using it).  No, Jesus Christ cares and loves us so much to be patient and merciful to explain Himself and to give us insight into the Kingdom of God.

Okay, so there are great reasons and rewards to entering the small gate and walking the narrow path, can’t I find or build that path on my own!  No, it is impossible.  Then how am I supposed to get there?  We all need a guide, someone to FOLLOW!  And that leader is Jesus Christ.  It is not about clicking a button or even saying the right things.  It is simply about how we behave, what we focus on, are we willing to be led.

May it be that we all truly focus on being, work towards becoming and humbly allow ourselves to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.  It will not be easy because the world will call us fools and crazy.  Yet we know we follow One who has overcome this world and will lead us to live in the Kingdom World.  And may it be in our following others may also be open to being led as well.

Amen

Editors Note:  Beautiful song by Chris Tomlin about being a follower:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI

 

 

 

 

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