Friday, May 2, 2014

Church (Part 1) - By Leah F.

Church (Part 1)

By Leah F.

I was looking at my emails/subscriptions and this website showed up in my inbox: 

In it, there was an acrostic poem that looked like this:
C-Christ followers 
H-hanging out together 
U-under the influence of the Spirit 
R-responding directly to His promptings 
C-celebrating the glory of 
H-his only presence! 

For a couple months, I'm going to grow through 1-2 letters at a time, going into each of these descriptions into detail. Today we start with: C-Christ followers
What does it mean to "follow Christ?" Does it mean doing exactly what Christ did in the exact events? Sorry, but that isn't possible. Matthew 16:24 puts in a simple way; saying, "Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'" 
 Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him.

 Denying yourself- you need to realize that you are a sinner, and that you need God in order to get eternal salvation. Pray to God, repent for your sins, and ask him to love inside of you and be your God. 
Taking up Your Cross- Some might believe that this means bearing suffering and pain, and it does, but in Jesus' day; a cross meant death. You have to be willing to die for Jesus and your God everyday and every hour. 
Following Christ- 1 Peter 2:21 says, "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." We need to follow in God's example. Yes, we need to do good works; helping the poor, being kind to those who hurt you, but it means more. Praying to God in every hardship, preaching out to those who don't know Christ, loving people who don't love you, and even praying for them. 

As you can see, all of these points can't happen over night. They take practice, perseverance, and prayer. You need to *want* God in your life, and you have to realize you *need* to follow God. I understand that it's hard to realize what God wants from you, but I pray that we'll find the courage inside of us to pick up our cross, and follow Jesus.


Rebekah said...

This is so inspiring!

Sarah Phillips said...

Awesome devotional, Leah! Looking forward to the next ones. =)

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