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Tag: following

The Right Direction

This morning we are going to continue working our way through the book of Acts. After taking a break for Christmas, last week we picked up where we had left off in November – which was in Acts chapter 16.

This chapter in Acts kicks off Paul’s second missionary journey – a journey that he took primarily because he wanted to revisit the churches that he had planted on his first missionary journey. He wanted to make sure that the believers in each of those cities were actually growing in their faith and becoming the kind of disciples of Jesus that go on to make more disciples of Jesus – which is really God’s call for all of us!

As Jesus stated in Mathew 28:18, one of our primary tasks in this life is to…

…Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”  Matthew 18b-19a

This command is for every generation of believers since the time of Christ. We are to make disciples who will then go on to obey His commands and make more disciples. 

And this is precisely what Paul was doing throughout his missionary journeys. In fact, one of the disciples that he had made on his first missionary journey was a young man named Timothy. Timothy had accepted Christ as his Savior and had since grown and matured in his faith – so much so that Paul wanted to take Timothy along on this second missionary journey. And of course, as we talked about last week, Timothy agreed – and together, Paul and Silas and Timothy revisited all those churches that Paul had earlier planted, and encouraged them to continue growing in the Lord.

We concluded last week with this verse: 

“So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.” Acts 16:5

In other words, the believers in those cities were encouraged and spurred on to trust God more and more – and they continued to tell others about Christ – and more and more people came to know and follow Him.

So with that phase of the journey complete, Paul, Silas, and Timothy then went on to visit some brand new cities – cities that had never heard the Good News about Jesus. And that’s what we’re going to read about today.

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Investing in Eternity

I want to start off today with a question: And this is the question: What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ?

And you would think that it would be unnecessary or even redundant to ask such a question in church of all places. Surely we all know what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. But do we really? Do we really grasp the implications for our lives we say we are a follower of Jesus Christ?

Is it simply that we’ve prayed a prayer and asked God to forgive our sins? Is that what it means to follow Christ? Does it mean we’ve been baptized and we regularly attend church? Is that following Christ? Does it mean we’re trying to be more good and less bad? Is that following Christ? Or does following Christ mean something totally different?

Well, this week we want to take a brief look at what Bible has to say about following Christ. And we’re sure not going to be able to touch on everything – because the Bible actually has a lot to say about what it means to follow Christ. But I want to at least pull out a few key points today and perhaps that will motivate you to do some further study on your own!

Because according to the Bible, there’s a lot more to following Christ than just praying a prayer, being baptized, attending a church, and trying to be more good than bad. So let’s open our Bibles and have a look.

Let’s get started with a passage from Colossians. If you have your Bibles with you, you can turn with me to Colossians chapter 2 – verse 6 to begin with. It goes like this:

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.” Colossians 2:6

And I’ll just pause here for a minute. If you were here last week, you’ll recall that we talked about the spiritual journey that each of us is on and how we always need to keep moving forward in our journey with God. There’s no standing still. If we think we are standing still, we’re actually most likely drifting away. We need to keep moving forward – always taking those next steps of obedience to Christ. And that’s really what this verse is telling us. “Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.”

That means that getting to that point where you accept Christ as your Saviour is not the end of your journey. That’s why in our little “spiritual journey” handout that we gave you last week, we find “Faith Commitment” in middle. It’s not the end. Salvation alone is not our goal. Our goal is to follow Jesus.

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