Mark 8:34-35

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

I like to use the word believer when talking about God’s children, as it specifically refers to those who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior.

That is a much smaller population than those who label themselves “Christians”.

But did you know that even fewer people could rightly be called “followers”?

These are the folks who passionately pursue the Lord’s will in all things.

Are you a believer or a follower?

It is criticallty important that we know who we are in Christ.

It is only when we know who we are that we can properly discern:

  • -how we are to respond in virtually every situation

  • -how we are to make decisions in the face of virtually any problem or opportunity

  • -how we are to answer virtually any question

  • -how we are to treat other people

  • -how we areto schedule our priorities in life

  • -how we are to witness about Jesus Christ

Trusting in Jesus Christ is fundamental, but doing so is the first step, not the culmination, of a person’s faith.

Our primary purpose is to take a life-long journey following in the Lord’s footsteps, becoming as transparent and predictable as possible by honoring Him with our “Actions and Speech”, and always increasing in biblical wisdom.

A follower’s life is summed up in the phrase complete obedience.

In fact, Jesus defined true Christians as those who prove their
love for Him by keeping His word.
John 14:23

When it comes to obeying God, there are really only two responses—

“I will” or “I won’t.”

It’s tempting to say, “I will, but . . .” as some of Jesus’ would-be disciples did, but that’s a roundabout way of saying NO
Luke 9:59

Followers remain faithful to the Lord’s plan…

whether doing so is easy or hard.

Not only that, but they proclaim Him in both blessing and calamity, and go even when they don’t like where He leads.

Followers pursue the Lord because they know that the reward is a deeper, more passionate relationship with Him.

They are not just waiting to spend eternity with God in heaven.

The wise individual realizes that eternity begins now, right here on earth, as they accompany Him on the righteous path He has set before them…

…by treating others as He has commanded us to do so…