Have you ever been following someone that you shouldn’t have been? I lived in a suburb of St Paul, MN for about seven years. My family and I lived in the southeast suburbs and my work was north of the Twin Cities. I had a forty minute commute to get to work. All but about five miles were interstate. The traffic was sporadic, but for the most part, I was on the road before there were any major backups. But, you learn to anticipate the bottlenecks. So, when I got near a typical bottleneck in Maplewood, I just stayed behind a large truck that obviously was caught behind traffic. Yet, the left lane was zooming by me. After many minutes when by following this big truck, I finally decided to try my attempt at passing in rush hour traffic. Only to find out that there was zero traffic ahead of the large truck. I was following something that was setting the pace 15 miles below the speed limit! I couldn’t believe it!
In winter, we are told not to follow tire tracks, because they could lead you right into the ditch! We are to be careful who we follow in life too! If we follow the wrong thing, we may get lead down the wrong path. When Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:13, he taught us this line “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” This simple verse reminds us to follow Jesus because he is not going to trick us. God isn’t like the stores that practice bait and switch where they lure us in with a sale that sells out quick only to get us to buy something more expensive. God won’t lead us into a ditch…
God has provided the Bible for us to follow. We are to follow his leading. When you learn to follow Jesus’ teachings, he will deliver you from evil and he will lead you down paths of righteousness. Not for HIS sake, but for yours! That is a beautiful thing. God is not hidden somewhere and you have to find him…NO! He is knocking on the door of your heart and you need to let him in and let him lead you today!
Here is your lesson for today: Who or what are you following? Is it slowing you down? Is this person going to lead you in the wrong direction? Jesus taught us to pray for God to lead us and deliver us from evil. That should be our prayer today!
While I was growing up, I would read the box scores of the previous day’s professional baseball games. I would see who had good games and who was entering a slump. I came across a rookie that was having an incredible year for the Minnesota Twins. I followed every game and tracked how he was doing in the overall stats. Kirby Puckett went on to have a great rookie season and subsequent seasons. That year, he and the MN Twins gained a fan for life. I followed Kirby’s career until the very end. I had pictures of him on my wall. I kept magazines where he had graced the front cover. I would watch him play on TV whenever I could. When I graduated college and moved to MN, I went to see him play in person. I was more than a fan. I knew every detail about him.
So much so, that when I played high school baseball, my coach was upset because I had a front leg kick that was unconventional. Guess who else had an unconventional leg kick? Kirby Puckett. My coach thought that I doing it just to be like Kirby. I had gotten to the point where I was even mimicking his flaws!
Without even knowing it…I had become a “disciple” of Kirby Puckett. I was learning everything he did and said. I clung to every word and baseball technique he taught.
Matthew 9:9 describes Jesus calling out to Matthew.. “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”
This one verse discusses the first step of becoming a follower of Jesus. You must first answer the call. Jesus went into the most unusual place to find a follower…into the booth of a tax collector. This made some people raise an eyebrow since tax collectors were liars, cheaters, and scoundrals. Yet Jesus called out to Matthew despite knowing full well that Matthew did not meet the profile of a believer, yet. Jesus called on people to follow him. To become a disciple. That is cling to every word and deed of Jesus. Learn from every single aspect of His life until you emulate everything Jesus did. Everything. Matthew did not begin following that day because he was perfect. He followed Jesus that day because he was a sinner in the need of a Savior. He responded out of obedience. Did you notice that Matthew did not ask a bunch of questions. He didn’t say “I will need to think about it”. He didn’t say I will need to sell everything slowly to get the best price…he simply got up and followed. What did he do after he followed? Matthew was with Jesus every moment he could be. He was present for healings, baptisms, teachings, and miracles. Jesus poured his life into all his disciples…Matthew included.
Here is the lesson for today: Jesus is calling you to be a disciple. To learn from his teaching…to discuss the different aspects of your life. You are to emulate him every way you can.
I am a man on a journey...