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By Pastor Fran

Text:Luke 9:57-62


The title for our message this morning is, ‘You must be a steady follower of Christ’ and it is the third on our theme for the month which is, ‘Leaving all to follow Jesus’. In the Gospel of Saint Luke chapter 9 verse 23, Jesus said, ”If anyone desires to come after me, let him take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

To be a follower of someone, you must have admired the person, his ideals or beliefs and be prepared to go in the same direction as him. You cannot say that you are following someone when you are going in opposite direction. You cannot be following a person when you do not make yourself available to listen to and obey his instructions.

And to be a steady follower of someone you have to be firmly attached to him and be consistent in your relationship with such a person. Your trust or confidence in him cannot be shaken by any external influence. It means you have decided to make him your role-model and follow his footsteps in every situation or circumstance.

In our bible reading for today, we see three men who signified their intention to follow Jesus but who due to one excuse or the other were not able to do so immediately. Jesus Christ said if anyone desires to follow Him or be His disciple, he must carry his cross and follow him. To be His follower requires sacrifice, that is, total dedication and not half-hearted commitment.

How can we be steady followers of Christ?

To be steady followers of Christ, we must have given our lives to Him and accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour through faith in the work of redemption He accomplished for us on the Cross of Calvary. After making Him our Lord and Saviour we must love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might. This means that His love will be uppermost in our hearts and we will obey all His commands.
He said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (Jn.14:23).

If we love Him our focus will be on Him even as we follow Him. Our desire will be to please Him and shun the things of this world which could distract our attention from Him. When our focus is completely on Him, we will become insensitive to the pull of the world and gradually we will conform to His image. This is God’s desire for us His children that we should be conformed to the image of His Son (Rm. 8:29).

As Christ’s followers, we must imitate Him in holiness, obedience to God, humility, love and in His servant-spirit. Paul writes to the church in Corinth to imitate him as He imitates Christ (1Cor.11:1).

This means that our will must align with His will as we love the things that He loves, and hate what He hates. Jesus told His disciples that His will was to do the work of His Father who sent Him ((Jn.6:38).

In the same way, our will should be to do the will of Jesus our Master. He came into this world of sin but did not commit any sin. Therefore if we must be His steady followers, we must run away from sin and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell richly inside us. By this, we will have the strength to live holy and be able to bear fruit of the Spirit.

As steady followers of Christ, we will long to be in His presence at all times reading and meditating on His word, communicating with Him regularly through prayer, praising and worshipping Him, and fellowshipping with other Christians. According to His word, where two or three are gathered in His name, He will be among them (Matt.18:20).

When we meet to fellowship with other Christians, He will be among us. Moreover, we will grieve over people who are living in sin and will want to reach out to them, so that they may repent and come to Christ. He came to the world to reconcile sinners to God and he has given us the mandate to continue with the work of reconciling sinners to God.

Considering the points mentioned so far on how to be a steady follower of Christ, do you think you fulfil the conditions that make for a steady follower? Do you love Christ with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?
Do you do things God’s way or your own way? Do you rely on God’s strength or you look for help elsewhere? Jesus said that we should abide in Him, and He in us because without Him we can do nothing.
He also said that the words He spoke were not His but they came from His Father who lived in Him and did His work through Him (Jn.14:10).

If you are following Christ steadily, you will live every day of your life for Him. Your love for him will supersede the love for anyone else and you will be following in His footstep. Your focus will be the kingdom of God and His eternal life for you, for members of your family, and for the people around you.
Jesus has commissioned all His followers to go into the world and preach the Good News so that people can be saved and be reconciled to God. Are you involved in the work of the Great Commission?

If you think you have not measured up to the standard of God’s expectation of a steady follower of Christ and you are sure of your salvation, you need to ask God to rededicate you for his service today.
But if you are not sure of your salvation, you need to confess your sins to God and ask for his forgiveness. Invite Jesus today into your heart so that He may live there through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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