Just a few days ago, Tim and I were talking to our Uber driver who began to tell us how she was not really into religion. That was just the invitation that Tim needed to tell her that we were not really into religion either. Religiosity was not really our thing. However, we were enthusiastic Christ followers. Thank you to our readers and podcast listeners who have asked, “What is a Christ follower?” We are glad you asked. Let’s unpack this simple, but profound answer.
We are all on a spiritual journey. Each of us tell a unique life story. What is your story? Have you met God? Are you a child of God? Who has control of your life? Is there such a thing? Who or what is filing the “hole” in your heart.
By definition, a “Christ follower” is just that… a follower of Christ.
As a Christ follower, I am aware of my own inadequacy to meet the holiness of God. No human is without sin or wrong doing. Because God loves each man and woman that he has created, he desires to have an intimate relationship with us. This relationship is intended to last into eternity. God created a way for my sin debt to be paid. He desires that you and I spend eternity with him.
The gospel or good news is simple enough for a child to understand. God loves you and me so much that he gave His only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. The payment for sin is death. Christ took my punishment and your punishment on the cross.
The path to forgiveness is not complicated. It is this. You and I must confess that we are sinners needing a savior, believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and accept Christ’s substitution for our sins on the cross. Nothing we can do can outweigh the wrong we have done. Only Christ’s work satisfies God’s holiness. If I pray or speak these truths to God, He forgives me. I am a child of God. I am so grateful that my eternal security rests on God’s work, not mine.
The gospel is simple.
How can you or I recognize a Christ follower?
What is NOT a Christ follower? What IS a Christ follower?
Let’s start by exploring if I am a Christ follower, what am I NOT?
First of all, it is NOT someone who goes to church or is heavily involved in religion. A Christ follower is not a religious person, but a person in relationship with Christ. It is not about the things a person does, but who he or she follows. If a person is a Christ follower, they will be hungry to know God personally, one-to-one.
A person who is NOT a Christ follower is a person captivated by the devil. My life can be an intense pursuit of my fleshly desires, the invitations of a worldly life and the counterfeit delicacies of potential satisfaction. Or instead I can choose to live a life filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Both options are available to you and me.
I am NOT focused on the principles of living as a Christ follower. I am likely focused on myself and personal fulfillment in all ways.
If I am a Christ follower, what am I?
I believe that God is the creator of all things. He only created good things. All distortions of what God created have been created by Satan. God created home, marriage, family and even intimacy. Satan offers loneliness, divorce, dysfunctional families, children without parents, and sex instead of intimacy.
I am a person who will spend eternity with God.
I live this life with the internal power of the Holy Spirit. It is up to me to access the power of God. He has invited me to grab hold of Him by living closely to His Word and its truths.
I am not focused on myself above my relationship with God, my spouse(if I am married) and my children. God has stewarded me with my family in this life. A strong and steady relationship with God makes me a better wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter-in-law and mother-in-law.
I am not pursuing my own physical pleasure. Intimacy is a gift created by God to be thoroughly enjoyed in a covenant marriage.
I have spiritual eyes to read and understand the Bible, which is God’s love letter to you and me.
I have the potential to be filled with God’s wisdom by reading the Word of God daily. It’s like recharging my phone and computer. I have to know Christ to follow him. I go to the Word to be re-charged.
I am not ultimately pursuing my own progress in finances, career and other areas while neglecting my spiritual progress.
I live with the spiritual protection of God’s angels.
I am filled daily with the joy that only God can give me. While anticipating hard things in life, I know that God is not the cause of bad things that happen to me in this fallen world. He is my good father.
I am a person who knows, for sure, that I will spend eternity in heaven.
I am a child of God who can never be possessed by Satan.
He is only an imitator, a deceiver and a fallen angel. He consistently takes something that God has created… such as family, home, marriage and intimacy, and distorts it. He offers a counterfeit. He cannot create anything. He is the original liar. The Bible even identifies him as the father of all lies. The Scriptures tell us that he is like a crouching lion seeking to destroy. While Satan can influence me, he can never possess me. I certainly don’t want to be destroyed by him. He never tempts me with something that is for my good.
I am kind. While being a Christ follower gives me discretion, I do not judge others. (That is God’s job.) While human nature is to be judgy, being like Christ means I am full of grace. As a person is remorseful and turns from sin, Christ’s response is to remind us that our forgiven sin has been buried in the deepest sea. He sees it no more.
I aim to forgive quickly. This is not in my power, but by God’s grace.
A few years ago, we met a 78year old man named Lenny Stein. By his own admission, Lenny was a great sinner. He had done nearly all the sins you could think of. He had been married at least seven times with illegitimate children scattered around the country. He had been in jail. He had treated others deceitfully and unkindly. His story seemed shocking. He looked like a gangster from the Bronx. He sounded like one too. Yet, Jesus loved him. When he heard the story of Christ and understood that Christ could be the substitute for his sin debt, he took the gift of salvation. Lenny would say, “If Jesus was only for this life, that would be enough. Eternity is just a bonus.” The contrast of who Lenny had been in the 78 years before he knew Christ and the following 10 years after he became a Christ follower was noticeable. To hear my husband Tim tell this story, listen to the companion podcast on Embrace Your Everyday podcast. Being a Christ follower will change your life.
So, if I am a Christ follower, I will have the daily desire to be more like Jesus. I will pursue holiness. My heart will begin to fill with joy as I am grateful for all of God’s goodness to me. A Christ follower looks and acts different because he or she is following Christ instead of their own desires.
The gospel is simple. Even if you are alone as you listen to this podcast, you can speak this prayer to God out loud. If you would like to be a Christ follower, talk to God. Find a quiet place right now and talk to HIm. You can pray the prayer below or something in your own words. God knows the sincerity of your heart.
God, I know that I am a sinner. I am so grateful that you loved me enough to send your son, Jesus, to die on the cross as a substitute for my sin debt. As a holy God you cannot allow sin into heaven.
Would you please forgive me for my sin?
I accept Jesus’s payment for me.
I realize that there is no other way to go to heaven.
There is nothing I can do to settle my debt.
Thank you for creating me in your image.
Thank you for desiring to have a relationship with me.
Please take control of my life.
I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your son, Amen.
When we talk about “embracing your everyday,” we envision that following God and His Word is the best way to live. Our heart’s desire is that you “embrace your everyday” as a Christ follower. Thank you to our podcast listeners who have asked, “What is a Christ follower?” We are glad you asked. To hear more on this topic, listen to the companion podcast by the same name @ Embrace Your Everyday. If you have prayed to become a Christ follower, would you let us know by reaching in the comments or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.