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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We Should Follow His Steps

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Years ago, Charles Sheldon wrote a book that became one of the best-selling books of all time.  His book, In His Steps, told the story of a church that was challenged by their pastor to ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” before they made any decision.


Several years ago there was a rebirth in the popularity of this book, and the W.W.J.D. (What Would Jesus Do?) fad affected even unbelievers as many wore the paraphernalia with these initials on them.


There is a Book far greater than Charles Sheldon’s than also instructs us to follow in the steps of Jesus. 


The Bible tells us in no certain terms in I Peter 2:21 that we are to “follow His steps.”  In Mark 1:9-15, we see Jesus beginning His ministry by traveling to three places. We need to Follow Him to these same three places if we want to be blessed and to be a blessing.


We Should Follow Jesus To the Baptismal Waters.  Mark 1:9 says, “And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.”


Jesus began His public ministry by the public act of baptism.  I heard a well-known preacher say that he had never known any Christian to do much for God until he had first been baptized.


The Lord had no need of being baptized since He was the sinless, spotless Son of God.  He did it to “fulfil all righteousness,” to set an example for us.


He also in this passage clearly demonstrated the method of baptism.  Mark 1:10 says, “And straightway coming up out of the water…”  You cannot come up out of something that you have not been under.  Scriptural baptism is not by sprinkling or splashing; it is by immersion.


God the Father was pleased with what Jesus the Son had done.  He declared in Mark 1:11, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 


Have you taken the first step of obedience for a believer?  Have you been scripturally baptized?  If not, what are you waiting for?  Why not talk with your pastor and get that taken care of immediately?


We Should Follow Jesus To the Barren Wilderness.  Right after this monumental moment in our Master’s life, he faced a great struggle.  He was alone for 40 days in the desert, battling the devil.


Teen, life is filled with difficulties, discouragements, and sometimes defeats.  These trials often come right on the heels of victories in our life. After the mountaintop, there is a valley.  After a triumph, expect a testing.  After a blessing, be ready for the battle.


We know that Jesus was exactly where He was supposed to be during this 40-day ordeal because the Bible says that “the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.”  Sometimes God will allow us to go through times of testing and even put us on the boat that He knows is headed for a storm.  Why?


Everyone the Lord uses greatly has first been through a wilderness experience.  Someone said, “You will never bless until you bleed.”  The Savior’s “Spiritual Boot Camp” that prepares us for ministry is the Barren Wilderness.  Follow Him there if you really want to be used by God!


We Should Follow Jesus To the Blessed Work.  After the difficult time in the wilderness, some would have gotten discouraged and quit.  When Jesus returned from His battle, things got worse.  He discovered that His cousin John the Baptist had been imprisoned.


This bad news would have caused some to get bitter.  The Lord, however, refused to get detoured.  He realized that there was a work for Him to do.


Mark 1:14 says, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.”  Our Lord was a man on a mission.  He was determined to do the will of His Father.


There is a work for you to do as well.  Young man, perhaps God wants you to preach His Word.  Maybe the Lord wants you to serve Him on the mission field.


Young lady, God has a work for you as well.  Perhaps He desires you to be a Christian School teacher, missionary, or the like.


Follow Him to a bus route, weekly soul winning, and to reach a lost and dying world.


Too many young people live a life of questions.  “What Would Jesus Do?” is not the issue.  We have the Bible and can know what we should do by following the example of Christ.


Instead of W.W.J.D., perhaps we should focus on D.W.J.D. (Do What Jesus Did).


Mark 1 tells us exactly what He did.  He got baptized, he endured the barren wilderness, and he got involved in the blessed work God the Father had for His life.


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