Pastor’s Corner: “Follow the Leader”

John 12:26 (NLT) – 26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

This morning I led a chapel service with the children at Laguna Madre Christian Academy. We started off playing the game of “Follow the Leader.” Do you remember playing this game as a child? The rules are easy. One person is the leader and the rest of the children follow, doing the same things the leader does. The leader often takes the group running, skipping, jumping over obstacles, spinning, rolling down the hill, and most of the time, they end up in some type of laughing mess.

As children we raced to the playground early before school to meet friends and play this game. As adolescents, we did the very same thing. Even though it was not a “game”, we still chose a leader to follow and an example to duplicate in the crowd or clique chosen to follow. Even moving past childhood into adulthood, are we not all following someone or something in life. Why do we spend so much of our time and resources to follow people or ideas in our life that ultimately lead to disappointment and un-fulfillment? Have you ever followed and bad leader in your life and found yourself at an undesirable destination?

Follow the Leader is a good game as long as you have a good leader. We have to be very careful about who we choose to follow. We must look at what they are doing and not just what they say, then we can make a decision about whether or not to follow them. The Bible gives us some very clear directions about what kind of actions and who we should follow. In Exodus 23:2 it says: Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. Isaiah 48:17-18 (NLT) – This is what the LORD says—Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:” I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.

Jesus invites us similarly: “Come, follow me.” In fact, I counted at least 20 times in the bible, Jesus said, “Follow me.” So in deciding who to follow, there is no better leader to follow than Jesus. But the dilemma that we face is how do we follow Jesus when He is not physically in front of us?

When we read the Bible, we can ask ourselves what are the kinds of things Jesus did and what kind of things did He say? We can see that Jesus loved God, loved others, He served, healed , washed feet, fed the masses, had compassion on the broken and lost, prayed, obeyed His Father in heaven, taught others about heaven, salvation and grace. That is what He is still doing today. If we study his actions and do what he does, we’ll never go wrong. Additionally Jesus left us His Holy Spirit to guide us. Jesus’ words in John 16:13 (NLT): 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. Have you invited Jesus into your heart through His Spirit to be your leader? Maybe you have wandered. Do you need to be reminded who you are following and ask Him to be your leader again?
The invitation to follow Jesus is open-ended. Anyone can come. Anyone can participate, but only if they follow His lead. Answers aren’t guaranteed, the path is often hidden, but if we trust and follow Jesus our leader, it will never be boring and we will never be disappointed in the destination.

In His Grace,

Pastor Hamilton