Posts Tagged ‘followers’

47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  – Matthew 5:47-48 (NIV)

Jesus was direct.  He made his point and He was direct.  He said don’t let yourselves be fooled.  He pointed out the practices that made us look bad as His followers.  He addressed the mess that we can make of fellowship, making others feel neglected and overlooked.

. . . Do not even pagans do that?

Jesus expects us to go the extra mile.  He wants us to be beyond the “pagans.” We should heed His word in order to be more like him, to be perfect as he says and to be more like the Father.

It’s a shame when we don’t know better.  It’s shame on us when we don’t do better.

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Imagine going through your business cards, email address book and Facebook friends or Twitter followers in order to see who you really develop relationships with in this life. 

  • What kind of people do you attract?
  • Are they really good people (like good for you)?
  •  What does that say about you?

Look at who you spend your time with and who you spend your time on throughout the day.  Mahatma Gandhi said: “Action expresses priorities.” Where are you putting forth your action today? Take a long hard look.  Then, after you do all of that analysis, simply ask God: “Is this what You want me to do with the life that You have given me?” Ask in prayer.  Write it in a note to God.  Sing it as a praise song to God.  Just ask.  Ask Him with an open heart and a broken spirit.  Ask God.

“Is this what You want me to do with the life that You have given me?”

And then, simply listen to what He says…

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From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.- John 6:66 (NIV)

37Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.- Acts 15:37-38 (NIV)


The Gospel of John gives us a rare account of many of Jesus’ disciples parting ways with the Master.  Imagine that! Some people who had heard His message and had seen His miracles decided that enough was enough, and then walked with the Lord no longer.  Wow! Now consider this.  If people did that to the Lord, the Messiah, the Master, the Christ, what do you think they’ll do when you try to lead them further and farther?

It happens in ministry.  There are other biblical examples, too.  John Mark started out with Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey as told in Acts 12:25, but he was also at the center of a disagreement between both missionaries in Acts 15:36-41 due to his premature departure on the previous journey.  It happens and we seem lost about what to do about it.  We tend to take it personal when someone walks out on us, but it’s not about us.

The message we are called to carry throughout the world isn’t about resistance or revolt.  The message that we are to carry forth is truly about redemption and restoration. John Mark, also called Mark, found forgiveness and favor as evidenced in the Word.  Yes, you have to read the whole story.  It resembles our rebellion and return to God as He offers us reconciliation, redemption and restoration.  Look what it says about Mark by both Paul and Peter:

  • Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:11 (NIV)
  • She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.- 1 Peter 5:13 (NIV)

When others walk out on you, get busy praying on your knees.  Pray that the Lord continues to supply and sustain you and your ministry in their absence.  Pray for God to reveal whether you need to replace the person or not.  Pray that God strengthens the one who walks away so that he or she may become more useful to God in the near future.  Pray that your heart remains open for reconciliation and restoration with that brother or sister.

14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.– Matthew 6:14-15 (NASB)

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Jesus disclosed something special to His disciples just prior to going to the cross. He was sharing what would occur in the coming hours, His departure from them and the end of His earthly ministry. He shared that he had given them an example. He had provided them a living, breathing example of what they could and should be in His name. He did it so that they could carry on His work beyond what He had already done.  He did it so that when others asked these who had been with Him, who had walked and talked with Him, would have a ready answer as to who was Jesus and what all the fuss was about Him and redemption, salvation and all of that. Jesus left an example for these men and He left an example for us. His example is so great that Paul said that we should think and act like Him (Philippians 2:5). Follow His example and share Jesus with others in every word and deed that do daily.

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