Follow Christ: He Is The Good Shepherd Who Gave His Life For You

Illustration-Title-Follow Christ-people-street-text-Bible verse.

Those who follow Christ will:

  • find rest and peace for their souls having sense of God’s abiding presence
  • be partakers with Him of His glory and controlled by His Spirit
  • appreciate their entrusted talents and use them for the glory of God
  • be sanctified through obedience to the truth and changed into His image
  • render Him all the praise and glory, and exercise faith in Him daily
  • walk in the light of His Word, able to define what they believe, and why they believe as they do
  • experience transformation of character and be holy in their sphere as God is holy in His sphere
  • overcome temptation and claim all the benefits He has promised
  • be pure in heart and life and dwell in God trough love
  • live lives of self-denial and self-sacrifice, cherish the cross of Christ, and obey God
  • depend and feed upon Christ, have the mind that was in Him, and a Christlike experience
  • seek to reach the perfection of His example who lived the law of God
  • be laying up their treasure in heaven and seeking for heavenly riches and eternal joy
  • bring His lessons into the practical life and reveal practical godliness
  • appropriate infinite benefit of the blood of a crucified Redeemer
  • be changed from glory to glory, until they are like Him whom they adore
  • receive the glorious reward of eternal life and adopted in the beloved 
  • will become sons and daughters of the King of the Universe

Follow Christ, He is attractive

Christ left the royal courts and clothed His divinity with humanity. He humbled himself from the position of one equal with God to that of a servant. Moreover, the Son of God humbled himself in order to uplift mankind.

Jesus taught his disciples that Kingdom of God is not a worldly kingdom, where all are striving for the highest position. He gave them lessons in humility and self-sacrifice for the good of others.

His humility did not consist in a low estimate of His own character and qualifications, but in adapting himself to fallen humanity, in order to raise them up with Him to a higher life.

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; …

he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:6-8.

Thus by His own example He teaches us how we may be exalted to the position of sons and daughters in the royal family, children of the heavenly King.

God can be honored by those who profess to believe in Him, only as they are conformed to His image and controlled by His Spirit.

Then, as witnesses for the Savior, they may make known what divine grace has done for them.

Jesus Christ is our pattern, the outstanding standard of moral character. Will you follow His example, or will you choose to follow the example and practice and customs of the world?

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11.

Illustration - Follow Christ in Matthew 16 verse 24 - text - Bible verse - background - forest

Commune with Christ

John was a teacher of holiness. In his letters to the church he laid down unerring rules for the conduct of Christians.

Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. 1 John 3:3; 2:6.

He taught that the Christians must be pure in heart and life. Never should they be satisfied with an empty profession.

As God is holy in His sphere, so fallen humans, through faith in Christ, are to be holy in their sphere.

There may be marked defects in the character of an individuals. Yet when they become a true disciples of Christ, the power of divine grace transforms and sanctifies them.

Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, they are changed into the same image from glory to glory, until they are like Him whom they adore.

Such transformation of character as has seen in the life of John is ever the result of communion with Christ.

True sanctification

It comes through the working out of the principle of love.

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16.

The life of individual in whose heart Christ abides will reveal practical godliness. Christian character will be purified, elevated, ennobled, and glorified.

Pure doctrine will blend with works of righteousness. Moreover, heavenly precepts will mingle with holy practices.

This is the will of God, even your sanctification. 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

The sanctification of the church is God’s object in all His dealings with His people. He has chosen them from eternity, that they might be holy.

God gave His Son to die for them, that they might be sanctified through obedience to the truth, freed of all the weakness of self. From them He requires a personal work and a personal surrender.

Those who would gain the blessing of sanctification must first learn the meaning of self-sacrifice. The cross of Christ is the central pillar on which hangs the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17.

If any man will come after Me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16:24.

It is the:

  • fragrance of our love for our fellow men that reveals our love for God
  • patience in service that brings rest to the soul.

God upholds and strengthens the one who is willing to follow in Christ’s way.

Illustration - Follow Christ in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 1 - text - Bible verse - blue background

Feed upon Christ

Jesus said:

I am the true Vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:1, 4.

Thus the more we depend upon Christ, the more we shall draw from Him, the living Vine, and have the mind that was in Christ.

Our experience will be after the character of that upon which we feed spiritually. If we feed upon Christ, we shall have a Christlike experience.

We cannot afford to make any mistake in regard to our experience here in the things of God. For eternal interests are involved.

We are running the risk of losing the eternal glory when we do not follow Christ. For it would have been better for us had we never been born, than to lose eternal life.

Hid with Christ in God

The people in the world are not content when their immediate wants are supplied, even when they have an abundance stored away for future use. The more they get, the more they desires to have.

They want a greater capital, a larger stock and income. Every power of their mind is bent on the object of their covetous desires – the accumulating of fortune.

They are laying up treasure on earth, doing that which the Lord has commanded should not be done.

God’s people have an entirely different end in view. They are seeking for heavenly riches and eternal joy.

The sincere Christians are laying up their treasure in Heaven where nothing can defile or get destroyed.

Those who truly follow Christ will not be left to misdirect their efforts. They will be led to set their affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Their life will be hid with Christ in God and transformed by His grace.

Thus the servants of God will:

  • have their energy employed in gaining of spiritual power
  • appreciate their entrusted talents and use them for the glory of God
  • prize their properties and value them as means of advancing the kingdom of God
  • work to bless humanity as Christ did
  • not seek to glorify themselves
  • be not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.

Illustration - Follow Christ in John 6 verses 67 and 68 - text - Bible verse - background - forest

Aiming the glory of God

Those who follow Christ will not walk in darkness. Furthermore, they will not seek their own pleasure.

The two grand precepts of the moral Law of God are to regulate the conduct of all humans:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. Matthew 22:37, 39.

Christ will work through the humans if they unite themselves with Him. Thus they will have a sense of God’s abiding presence.

The great Advocate assumed human nature and became like unto His brethren. Hebrews 2:17. He impresses upon the human mind that no one who through faith accepts Him as a personal Savior is an orphan.

Moreover, no one is left to bear the curse of his or her own sins.

Christians my daily cultivate faith by contemplating the One who has undertaken their cause – their merciful and faithful High Priest. Hebrews 2:17.

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Hebrews 2:18.

Even now in heaven He is afflicted in all our afflictions, and as a living Savior, Christ is asking intercession for us.

All who had cherished the cross of Christ, and been sharers of His sufferings, denying self and obeying God, should be partakers with Him of His glory.

They who had for Christ’s sake lost their lives in this world would preserve them unto life eternal.

The perfect law of liberty

True believers are to compare their life with the character of Christ. Through the grace which He imparts they seek to reach the perfection of His example who lived the law of God.

Christ’s testimony of Himself was:

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10.

Those who follow Christ will be constantly looking into the perfect law of liberty. Furthermore, through His grace they will fashion their character to meet the divine requirements.

The heart must be opened to receive Christ and abide in Him. As the branch is connected with the living vine, a vital union is formed between the parent stalk and the branch.

Thus, the same fruit appears on the branch as is seen on the vine. Every ability of mind and body is to be engaged in the service of Christ, following His example, and catching His spirit, thus building the character after the divine likeness.

Our faith is to be exercised in Him daily. He has redeemed us, not only because He loved us, but because:

God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

Appropriating the promises of God

They are given on condition of obedience. Furthermore, they are for those who walk in the light of God’s Word. Those who do God’s will may claim all the benefits the Lord has promised.

Their faith is like Noah’s and Abraham’s, which led them to keep the commandments. They:

Every step that Noah and Abraham took in obedience to God’s Word was a step of victory. A Thus saith the Lord strengthened Noah in doing his work of warning the world.

Thus, we may in meekness and confidence be able to define what we believe, and why we believe as we do. We should exercise living faith, not a blind trust.

All heaven is at the command of those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.

Let us follow Christ

We may safely discard those ideas that are not found in His teaching. The enemy is seeking to divert our minds from the work of preparing a people to stand in last days.

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16.

The Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past. He calls for a renewal of spiritual life.

For we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9.

Those who are true followers of Christ will be willing to suffer for His sake. As they contemplate the mystery of redemption, the heart will be filled with tender love and devotion.

They will feel that they must follow the example of Him who went about doing good, and who cheerfully gave His life to ransom all from the degradation of sin.

Let your light so shine in words and deeds, that you will reveal that truth is cherished in the heart.

As your experience enlarges, opportunities will multiply, knowledge will increase, and through Christ you will become strong in bearing responsibilities.

Conclusion

Christ is the ladder that is let down in our path today. It reaches to the gates of heaven, the very threshold of glory. Now the question is:

Will you climb the ladder? Jesus Christ is our pattern, the great standard of moral character.

Will you follow His example, or will you choose to follow the example and practice the customs of the world?

The apostle exhorts the followers of Christ to give diligence to make their calling and election sure. There must be no error, no flaw in your claim to immortality.

Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14.

Let us trust Jesus. Worry is blind and cannot discern the future. But He sees the end from the beginning, and in every difficulty He has His way prepared to bring relief.

Those who shared in His work will be permitted to share in His joy. They will hear the welcome invitation: Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Matthew 25:21.

References

  1. AA 559, 560; RH, Jul,15, 1909; ST, Jan, 1891; RH, Apr, 1889; ST, Mar, 1890; BE, Nov, 1894; RH, Sep, 1892; CE 179; ST, Nov, 1896; 3SP 75; CCh 326; RH, Jun, 1885 – The Ellen G. White Estate
  2. King James Bible Version (KJV

Browse articles categoriesIllustration-Title-Articles categories-text-list of categories

  • Know God – about God and His Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ »
  • Experience God – His love, mercy, righteousness, and other awesome attributes of His character »
  • Settle into God’s Truth – the way that you cannot be moved with eyes fixed upon the Savior »
  • Victory in Christ – the wonderful possibility of being like Christ »
  • Threefold message – light of the world development prior to Christ second advent »
  • Salvation for everyone – he sinless One has taken your place and He has borne your guilt »

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  • Thank you for stopping by. We pray that the Holly Spirit will set the Truth home in your soul.
  • May your own experience in beholding Christ helps you find that God is exactly who He claims to be.

 

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