New Song: I Will Follow

Jesus put it very simply.  First, “who do you say that I am?”.  And secondly, “Follow me”.

That’s it.

This weekend, we are singing a song of commitment stating that we believe Jesus is who he said he was and that we will follow him.  That’s it.  The song itself takes us on a journey of faith.  First, faith is fairly easy…because life is easy.

When the sea is calm and all is right
When I feel Your favor flood my life
Even in the good, I’ll follow You
Even in the good, I’ll follow You

I think this comes from the passage in Mark where a storm threatened to overwhelm the boat the disciples and Jesus were riding in.  Then…

He [Jesus] got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. -Mark 4:37-39

See.  Life is easy.  But then…

When the boat is tossed upon the waves
When I wonder if You’ll keep me safe
Even in the storms, I’ll follow You
Even in the storms, I’ll follow You

The interesting thing to note, is that this already happened to the disciples in the same story from Mark.  Before he calmed the story, they were wondering if Jesus would keep them safe or not…

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

I believe everything that You say You are
I believe that I have seen Your unchanging heart
In the good things and in the hardest part
I believe and I will follow You
I believe and I will follow You

Have you noticed that we keep singing, “I believe every thing that you say you are”?  That makes me ask, “What does Jesus say about himself?”  There are lots of things, but here are just a few…

Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. -John 10:7

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” -John 10:11

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.-John 8:12

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. -John 6:35

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. -John 11:25

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:16

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. -Matthew 11:29

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” -John 8:58

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said…-Matthew 4:19

Jesus is all these things and he calls us to follow.  His character, his heart and his love have never changed.  As it says in Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever…

When I see the wicked prospering
When I feel I have no voice to sing
Even in the want, I’ll follow You
Even in the want, I’ll follow You

The people of God have struggled with this for centuries.  If God is good, how can the wicked do so well and the righteous suffer so much?  Asaph writes in the Psalms…

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
    I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. -Psalm 73:2-3

Not only that, we all die…

When I find myself so far from home
And You lead me somewhere that I don’t wanna go
Even in my death, I’ll follow You
Even in my death, I’ll follow You

But even in death, we can trust God.  This verse could be referring not only to our deaths, but also to Peter’s.  Jesus prophesied that Peter would be led where he didn’t want to go…that he would be led away, like Jesus, to be crucified.  Peter was also in Rome, far away from his home, in Israel.  But even in his death he followed Jesus.  And we are called to do the same

“…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.  Then he said to him, “Follow me!” -John 21:18b-19

But that is not the whole story.  Asaph says that when he saw the glory of God in worship, he remembered that the wicked might prosper now, but they have a very different end than the righteous.  Paul tells us to run the race God has marked out for us because…

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. -1 Corinthians 9:24-25

When I come to end this race I’ve run
And I receive the prize that Christ has won
I will be with You in Paradise
I will be with You in Paradise

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said.

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