John 3:16 says if you believe in Christ you won’t ever die and you’ll gain eternal life.
I imagine lots of “Christians” who claim to be believers are satisfied with their “believer” status.
After all, being a believer doesn’t have any requirements or expectations or challenges. You might go to a church and read your Bible and pray and tithe and usher once a month or keep the nursery. Things you want or like to do or think you should be doing as a believer (serving your own interests) as loyal believers to make you feel good and look good to others (hypocrites.) As long as you’re a believer you can live any lifestyle you want, and I’m sure many folks do–living life like they lived and acted (even after salvation)–unchanged, whatever feels good, do it. Self-oriented, not others-oriented. Living the status quo believers “Christian” life.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. before they were saved (even after salvation)–unchanged.
So, where does Jesus fit into this believer’s lifestyle, or does he.
Believing was important to Jesus. Jesus told his disciples in John 14, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”
But believing in Jesus was the catalyst for his life changing invitation, “Follow me.” In Scripture more than100 times Jesus issues his invitation to “Follow me.” when he invited the disciples to follow him each of them followed Jesus immediately.
Following Jesus is not a “be” word it is a “do” word. God has a purpose for each of us.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23.
Jesus’ invitation to become an authentic disciple requires action: deny self, take up DAILY and follow.
We’re often reluctant to step out in faith for things that sound challenging or tough or time consuming or personally costly. “I’m not qualified to do that”. “I can’t take off from work that long.” “We don’t have the money.” “You need to find someone else.” “I’m too old. “
Pushing through our excuses and inadequacies in order to say yes to God for the benefit of others grows our faith.1 When we are willing to step out in faith and follow Jesus to serve others NOT HAVING A CLUE WHERE GOD WILL TAKE US, OUR FAITH WILL GROW. And on the other side of our stepping out to serve others, no matter how large or small the service, we will see God’s faithfulness1
1A devotional by Andy Stanley entitled Faith Full was the inspiration for this post and the source for the quotes above.