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For those readers that have made a life-decision to follow Christ…why do you follow Him?

My guess is that somewhere along the line someone told you that you could go to hell. Right? And while I believe that living life according to our own designs instead of trusting in Christ and living the way He shows us will earn us eternal consequences, I strongly believe that we must see our redemption as far more than a ticket out of hell. Many might agree with me upfront, but let me explain further.

Now, I’m not one to usually deal with hypotheticals, but sometimes they can help show us what our true motives are, and perhaps what they should be. So ask yourself this hypothetical: If hell weren’t an issue, would I still follow Jesus? Or would I ever have STARTED following Jesus in the first place?

Seeing redemption as simply a way out of hell is much like someone getting married so that they won’t have to live alone.  What kind of a marriage would that be?  What kind of relationship would be there?  I submit that the marriage would have little relationship and be driven more by fear than love.  And isn’t that what should drive every relationship? Love?  Whether marriage, friendship, father to a son, daughter to a mother, a creation to it’s Creator?  Shouldn’t love be the driving force behind each of these?

I would submit that if we only see salvation, or our redemption, as merely a way out of eternal destruction, then our relationship with our God is not driven by love, but by fear.

I would further say this, if we follow Jesus only because He “saves” us, then basically, we are following Him because He has done something for us, right?  And while in itself this is not a bad thing, if we love Him only because of what He has done for us then what ever so slightly happens  when “life” takes place and we don’t feel like He is doing anything for us?  When family dies, when we lose our job, when the income isn’t there, when He is silent as we cry out to Him…when it seems like He isn’t doing anything for us…does our love, commitment and devotion for Him seem to decrease?

I didn’t marry my wife because she did anything for me.  I didn’t marry her out of fear of being alone and seperated my whole life.  I married her because I choose to love her. Because our hearts and souls connected.  Because I determined that I couldn’t and wouldn’t live my life on this earth without her by my side.  She didn’t have to do anything for me in the past, nor does she have to do anything for me in the future for me to love her any more or any less.  That is why my love & devotion to her doesn’t waver.

My reasons for following Jesus are much the same.  He gave His life for me, which enables me to be in this beautiful relationship that connects us. My devotion is driven by love, not fear. I’ve learned that as my Creator, He has the right to determine the best way that I should live, and I’ve learned that living His way is a much better way than my own.

I hope you’ll sit down and consider this simple question in your reflection time…why do I follow Jesus?

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Have you ever sat down and realized that you still have a lot of rough edges that need to be smoothed out? I think facing difficulties has a way of showing us those things that we need most to work on.  To plant a thought, I’m not sure that you can even become more defined unless you face resistance and difficulties.

Think about it like this, working out…is NOT fun! Why do you think I don’t work out!? Because it takes work, because I don’t find it fun AT ALL and b/c it hurts when you’re done.  I’m the guy who watches Biggest Loser while eating a chili dog.  But my point is this: the only way you build muscle is by facing resistance. It’s the only way you grow!

So the next time that you face resistance or difficulties in your life – remember that it’s an opportunity for growth. I’m not trying to make it sound easy because it isn’t. But whoever said that living life as a follower of Christ has to be easy?

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