Do you love God? Jesus asked His disciple this same question. He wanted His disciple to know that loving and following God is not always easy. It involves forgiving the very people that hurt you, loving others when you are in pain, and trusting God when everything is falling apart.
Paul understood this truth. He followed Jesus Christ’s example to the death. He understood the power of forgiveness, Holy purity, love, the Holy Spirit, and what Jesus did at the cross. Paul also preached these truths to people hoping that it would set them free from the need to sin.
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At first Paul did not believe in Jesus and the message of forgiveness. Paul’s was guilty of killing many innocent Christians. However, Jesus came to forgive even Paul. Paul said that his old nature “died” with Christ. Meaning, His “old self” was a murderer. But, once He saw the “light” He realized that He was wrong and started a “new life” or “new self”.
Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 Paul was the perfect candidate to continue the work of Jesus. Paul understand that forgiveness is a FREE gift that no man can earn it and no man deserves it. This truth empowered him to give away forgiveness to those that sought to kill him. Sadly, the people stoned him, accused, and hurt him for talking about Jesus.
Do you love God more than anything? Do you choose to believe even though everything may be going wrong in your life?
Jesus wants to make us aware that Christianity isn’t a popularity club nor a get rich quick scheme. Christianity is sacrificing our own desires to help bring others from darkness into light. So, Jesus asked his disciple the question for the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was deeply hurt that Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” “Lord, You know all things,” he replied. “You know I love You.”
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Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Truly, truly, I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself and walked where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.” – John 21:18
Follow Me As I Follow Christ Meaning: True Christianity is submitting to God’s will for your life and this earth. Sometimes, that means you will be put in situations where it literally feels like you are dying. It may be a bad financial situation, preaching the Gospel in a tense atmosphere, praying for a spouse, believing for the healing of a child, etc.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Either way, if God has called you to persevere in a tough situation… He will give you the grace to do it. Keep praying, reading the Bible, being a good person to EVERYONE, and believing that God will work it out… He will show up powerfully in your life.
And remember, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Jesus was tempted in every way yet he did not sin. Jesus only did what he heard the father doing. And, Jesus forgave, loved, and brought many into the knowledge of the father. In this way, we should initiate Jesus Christ. We should strive to love people, even when it’s hard, so they to can experience the healing and miraculous power of the Cross.
Follow Christ Verses and Scriptures
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Luke 18:22
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“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
Jesus said follow me and you will always know which way to go. Following his path helps to light up the path to relationship with God. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Paul wants us to Imitate me (copy him) as I Imitate Christ (as Paul copies Jesus’ behavior and righteousness). “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:1-2
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” Matthew 16:24
“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.” 1 Peter 2:21
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:21-23
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“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” Mark 8:34-37