Why Follow Jesus?

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John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

When we come to John chapter 1, the Apostle John wants to tell us why its so important to follow Jesus. As an “Apostle” John walked with Jesus. This is what the Apostles did. Apostles were hand chosen by Jesus to walk with Him as He walked on this earth. The Bible says:

Ephesians 2:20 (TLB) What a FOUNDATION you stand on now: the APOSTLES and the Prophets; and the cornerstone of the building is Jesus Christ Himself!

Christians love the Bible, and trust the Bible because it was written by APOSTLES like John who walked with Jesus, touched Jesus, and listened to Jesus teach. John was not only called “The Apostle John”, but he had other names he was called.

How Many Of You Have A Nickname?

When I was in the service (I am retired Air Force), my nickname was “Buff”. I was called other things as well. Most people have nicknames, or names that they are called other than their primary name. A few of John’s nicknames were:

John of Patmos, (he was imprisoned on Patmos for talking about Jesus)
John the Evangelist,
(he loved talking about Jesus)
John the Elder
(he walked with Jesus the longest)
A son of thunder (Mark 3:17
he & his brother James were outspoken)

But John’s favorite nickname was “The one Jesus loved” (He uses it five times in his Gospel. See John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7; 21:20). Why did John love this nickname the best? I believe it’s because John was looking for love.

John heard a preacher called “John the Baptist” who preached that the Messiah – God our Savior – was coming. John talks about John the Baptist in …

John 1:6-8 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

John’s Pastor Was John The Baptist: John the Baptist was a wonderful preacher. The Bible tells us that John the Baptist was born to preach about Jesus, telling people that Jesus was coming to be with them. The Bible said that John the Baptist wouldn’t preach in a Church building like we have here, but John would go out “into the wilderness” (Matthew 3:3; John 1:23) and tell people to get ready to meet Jesus. Why did John go out into the wilderness? I believe it was to test the people.

People who wanted to meet Jesus would have to get out of their comfortable homes and get out of their comfortable lives, and go out to a rugged place to hear about Jesus. Following Jesus can be uncomfortable, because the world itself offers the easy way, the wide way. Following Jesus means to believe what He says regardless as to what anyone else says. And that’s hard.

When you’re in a tough place, this is where you’ll find Jesus. John is listening to John the Baptist preach out in the wilderness one day when Jesus comes up.

John 1:15-16 … This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me. 16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Let’s look at what John the Baptist told John in verses 15 & 16. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said that Jesus is PREFERRED BEFORE meand Jesus WAS BEFORE me. Let’s talk about Jesus is PREFERRED BEFORE me. Jesus is more special to God that John the Baptist is. John was a great preacher who shared the Word of God. But Jesus is THE Word of God. We’re told in …

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John the Baptist is just a man. The Apostle John is just a man. I am just a man. But Jesus is The WORD”. When I speak, my words come out of my mouth. When JESUS SPEAKS, it is God’s Word that comes out of His mouth.

The SAVIOR (the One Who saves us)
The REDEEMER (the One Who covers our mistakes)
The BREAD OF LIFE (the One Who blesses our lives)
The Only Begotten SON OF GOD (He is God’s Child)

John the Baptist was a preacher, but Jesus is much MORE than a preacher. We read:

John 1:2 The same {Jesus} was in the beginning with God.

Jesus is called “The WORD of God”. Jesus was in the beginning with God. He was there in the Book of Genesis when God made everything. In fact, Jesus was necessary to the actual Creation of the earth and all that is in it. Jesus wasn’t standing by watching God the Father make everything. Jesus was active in the creation of this earth, and in the creation of every one of us.

Jesus Is Not Only God’s WORD Speaking,

John 1:3 All things were made by {Jesus}; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jesus was “in the beginning with God”, and Jesus was involved in making EVERYTHING. Jesus as God the Son worked with God the Father to make the world.

John 1:10 He {Jesus} was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

The world was “MADE BY JESUS”, but most people “The WORLD” doesn’t know who Jesus really is.

This is very sad. Jesus is the One Who made everything – the planet, the animals, the sea, the atmosphere, the humans, the trees and grass, the bugs. Jesus made it all. Jesus knows how everything works best. Our problems grow greater when we try and solve them without Jesus. The reason we have so many problems in America today is because …

the world was made by him, and the world knew him not

We have RACISM and HATRED where people treat one another badly because of their color. This is because people do not know Jesus. Jesus made every color of people. There was a song I was taught when I was a little boy in Bible School. It was called Jesus Loves the little children. Maybe you know it:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
You are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Jesus loves what He made. When He made humans the Bible says:

Genesis 1:27 God created us in His own image, in the image of God He created humans; male and female God created humans

God made animals, those that walked on the earth, swam in the ocean, or fly in the sky. God made creatures so small that we cannot see them without a microscope. God made “birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees”. He made planets so far away that we need a telescope to see them. God made so many stars that even the smartest scientist cannot count them all. But of all these things God created, when He created humans, He made them all – you and I – in “the image of God”.

This means that every person has value. Sadly, many people do not know Jesus. They are living their lives without the words of Jesus, without His help. It is Jesus Who made us. As our Maker, He knows what is best for us. It is Jesus Who gives us life. We read:

John 1:4-5 In Him {Jesus} was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Many people today try to live their lives without Jesus. But Jesus is the Creator of Life. We read, In Him {Jesus} was life. Then John write, “and the life was the light of men. What does this mean? Simply,

Life Can Be Bright And Blessed When You Follow Jesus

Jesus tells us what makes life good. Jesus told us to REPENT, for the KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Now what does it mean to REPENT? This is a word you’ll hear if you go to Church very often. Preachers use this word, John the Baptist used this word, and Jesus used this word.

Repent: “Repent” is a misunderstood word – hard for adults to understand, much less young people. Let me describe it this way. I used to have a little dog named Scooter that I loved very much. When we bought our house, I bought a house with a fence around it so Scooter could run and play. Before we bought that house we had a home that we rented that had no fence. So I would tie Scooter to a tree out in the front yard with a long leash. Do you know what Scooter did? He would run around the tree – round and around – and each time wrap more and more of the leash around the tree. At the end of the day I’d go out and find Scooter wrapped tightly to the tree! I’d tell him, “Scooter, go the other way sometimes!” But he wouldn’t listen. Scooter refused to repent! He’d keep going in the same direction till he wrapped himself up on the tree.

The word “REPENT” means to stop going in the same direction that ties you up, and to hear the voice of Jesus and go in the OTHER direction!

Since Jesus is the CREATOR and the SOURCE of LIFE, Jesus knows the right way to live. When we follow Jesus and do the things Jesus tells us to do, we have good lives, or LIGHT. But when we don’t follow Jesus … when we hear what He says, then continue to go live our lives in the same way we always lived them – then we hurt ourselves.

And that makes life DARK.

People go through depression when they walk away from Jesus. People become hate filled of others when they are without Jesus. They walk in darkness. You can be overwhelmed, or confused, or have a poor self image. Without Jesus you walk in fear rather than in confidence. A Christian is a person who has realized that Jesus is Creator God, and that Jesus knows what is best for us. Christians follow Jesus. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 8:6 (TLB) … we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created all things and made us to be his own; and one Lord Jesus Christ, who made everything and gives us life.

Jesus Came From God To Bring Us Into God’s Family

John 1:11-13 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus came to this earth a Man, a Perfect Man, God Who became Man. Jesus came to save the Jews first, or his own. The Jews were God’s Old Testament people, and God promised His Old Testament people that Jesus would one day come and bless them. Though Jesus came to Israel, a large part of Israel refused to receive Him as the Word of God or as the Working God. The Bible says:

Colossians 1:16 For by {Jesus} were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Jesus Christ came to bless everyone, but He came to the Jew first (Romans 1:16). But most of the Jews – not all but most – rejected Jesus. The Bible says:

as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

What does it mean to receive Jesus? It means to believe what the Bible says about Jesus. To believe that Jesus is the Creator of all life, and that, as the Creator, Jesus knows what is best for us. To receive Jesus is to believe that Jesus is the Way to God, and that what Jesus says is more important than what anyone else says – or what I think.

When Jesus made everything, He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when the Lord looked at all He made, He said:

Genesis 1:31 … it was very good.

Adam and Eve were made with a free will, the ability to choose to follow the Lord to to go their own way.

Adam and Eve were supposed to look after the Garden of Eden. But Adam listened to a fallen angel named Lucifer and did not listen to the Word of God. Adam ignored what Jesus said, and ate the wrong thing (Genesis 2:17), disobeying the Lord. The Bible says:

Romans 5:12 (TLB) When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. His sin spread death throughout all the world, so everything began to grow old and die, for all sinned.

When we do not listen to God, when we do not hear “The Word of God”, then we hurt ourselves. Jesus came from God, and is God. He came to show us the right way to live. He came to save us. Jesus told us:

Matthew 7:13-14 (TLB) Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. 14 But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.

The Way to Heaven is to believe in Jesus. The Way to Heaven is to trust Him, to hear what He says. The Way to Heaven is to ask Jesus to walk with you every day. Jesus came to bring as many as will come into the Family of God. That’s what He tells us in this verse.

as many as RECEIVED Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that BELIEVE ON HIS NAME

Jesus wants you to be in the Family of God. He is the Source of Light. He is the Source of Life. Jesus is the Light of the world. Jesus is the Word of God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

To prove that Jesus is the very Word of God, He was made flesh, and dwelt among us. As we study through the Book that John the Apostle wrote, we will read about the wonderful things that Jesus tells us. I hope that you will come back each Wednesday as we talk about Jesus. But most of all, I hope that each and every one of you “receive” Jesus as He is. He is the Creator. He is the Word of God. Jesus is the Light of God. Jesus enables us to live life the way that God intended.

Without wrapping ourselves around the tree.
Walking in Joy, serving the Lord.

Human Laws Can Only Limit Human Flaws

How can we fix the problems in America? For years, the U.S. Government has waged a “war on crime”. President Lyndon Johnson declared a national War on Crime” March 8, 1965, when I was only 7 years old. Laws can put people in prison, but it can’t fix the human heart. Jesus said:

Matthew 15:19-20 … out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a {person}

We need Jesus to take over our hearts. When you let Jesus come into your life, He changes your heart, and changes how you look at things. He brings you into the Family of God, and teaches you that love is the greatest strength we can have. In the Old Testament God gave us the Law to live by. The Law given by God didn’t fix what was wrong with us. If the Law given by God didn’t fix us, why do we think human laws will fix us.

We all need Jesus. I’ll end with these words:

John 1:17-18 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Jesus is close to the heart of God. That’s what it means when we read, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father. The bosom is right here on your chest, right where your heart is. The Bible says that Jesus is in the heart of God. And Jesus speaks to us, inviting us to believe in Him, to invite Him into our lives. This is my prayer, that each one of you will know that God loves you, and God wants you in His family. Give your lives to the Lord Jesus. Ask Him to be your Savior and Lord. Let Him be a part of your daily life. May God the Holy Spirit lead you to Him! Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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