14Oct

who are you following?

Today there is a craving for information, sharing, and finding communities of like interest. The momentum of all of it is fueled by following and being followed.

For Christ followers, this is old school terminology.   We’ve been ‘following’ for over 2000 years.   It was Jesus that ignited the most significant worldwide invitation of all times when He invited 12 unlikely men to follow Him.

Let’s go there…

It’s midday in Galilee. The sun is hot, a blanket of dust covers the weary traveler who comes into town by way of Judea. The town people have heard of him and knew he was coming. Word traveled quickly of miracles, prophesy and outlandish claims made by a very peculiar, humble carpenter from Nazareth.

“His name is Jesus. Says he’s the Messiah,” you hear them whisper as he passes. “Son of God he claims . . . but we all know nothing good comes out of Nazareth.” He meets their critical eyes with an expression that lacks both worry and offense. They whisper unaware that he can hear their hearts. Entangled in their quiet chatter, this tribal leader also hears their overwhelming need.

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”

And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them;
and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Matthew 1:14-2

NIV

  • The decision: That day in Galilee they dropped their nets and followed Him and since that time, millions have decided to follow. It is the response to the most important invitation ever extended – the one that is there for the ‘whosoever will’ from every generation.
  • The promise: He promised before He left, that He would send His Holy Spirit (the power source) to enable His followers to do greater things than He had done. (WOW!)
  • The expectation: He charged His believers to share the Truth to the ends of the earth.

What kind of people are you following? Why do they interest you?

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  • http://twitter.com/kennysilva Kenny Silva

    Lately, I’ve been following people who follow Jesus and spread his message in a radical and counter-cultural way. They interest me, because we live in an increasingly secular world; a post-modern world that is very hesitant to accept not ours, but God’s claim of absolute truth. People who strike out against that culture; who are bold enough to do just as Jesus commanded his disciples to do in Matthew 28:19. Those are the kinds of people I follow.

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    He said “follow.” But He didn’t say where they were going. If He did, they may have gotten out the map and found a shortcut. At any rate, they dropped everything and went.

    I try to follow Him first. Then people who follow Him who are farther ahead of me in the parade and hear Him more clearly.

    But sometimes I follow those who seem to be going in a different direction, at least for a little ways, hoping they’ll turn around and join our parade.

    Are you going to keep asking these hard questions?

  • Tami Heim

    I see Him in you and so do the others that follow you. Now they may they not realize exactly what they are seeing – but they will soon enough. All in His good and perfect time.
    What’s the best part of being a grandma? (Now that one should be EASY!)

  • Tami Heim

    Me too! It is encouraging that books like Radical and Crazy Love making their way to the top stops on bestseller lists. I think people are hungry for what is real and are ready for Truth – straight up. We have to be faithful to deliver it and trust God to bring it home in the hearts of men and women. Kenny – who do you see stepping out and bringing it? We want to make sure we are connected to them – if we aren’t already.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Rachelhauck

    I agree with Kenny. I follow people who love Jesus. Not religious people. Not people who want to see me on the latest fad. But people who want to live their faith out loud in an “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel” kind of way.

    I also follow writers and readers because I am both of those. :)

    I follow people who interest me. Define that, right? People who post unique thoughts and quips. Not people overly focused on self in a “look at me” kind of tone.

    I love the connection you’ve made here with our world becoming a “follow me” kind of world in social media language. And that is EXACTLY what Jesus told us to do with Him.

    We should first follow Him, subscribe to His sayings, and be a Voice and not an echo to a lost and confused world.

    I can shine a light in a 140 characters. Amazing.

    Rachel

  • Tami Heim

    It is amazing that we have another new way to find and build community. It’s not a substitute for IRL fellowship, but it certainly gives us access to people that otherwise might never cross our physical paths.

    We can lift, encourage, and inspire each other. You are so right Rachel – and even shine for Him in 140 characters.

    I really like what you said about connecting with people that share all the different passions that God pours into us. It is another way to shine, be different, and extend His love to others. I have seen you in the stream and you REPRESENT with beauty and grace. Thanks for sticking with us here!

  • Em in China

    Just as a point of interest, Bonhoeffer points out that the first and last recorded words we have of Jesus to Peter are “Follow me.” (Matt 4; Mark 1; John 21)

  • Tami Heim

    Em – Thanks for sharing that with us here all the way from China! Love it. Love you.

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    That’s easy and not easy. I could take up this whole page. But today I was thinking how sweet it was that Lillee was rubbing her soft little cheek against mine and going Ahhhh . . .

  • http://twitter.com/JOYFULLTOO Melinda Y.

    I follow (go fishing) people who have a heart for God. People who boldly proclaim the full glory of Jesus Christ online.
    I’m not intellectual. Too much head knowledge does not spark my interest.
    A faith that stems from a relationship with Jesus which resides downstairs in their heart? Now, I’m interested.
    I am a wife, mom, and student. I follow pastors, parents, people placing God at the center of their marriages/lives.
    I follow people who are ahead of me spiritually, I follow people who are behind me spiritually.
    I share the baskets of ‘spiritual fruits’ by RTing to others who follow my tweets.

    On a side note: I just love the way this site is equipped to engage us in conversation and ‘like’ tabs included. Very interactive and user friendly:)
    ~Melinda~

  • Tami Heim

    Thanks for the feedback Melinda – we want to serve you and everyone that travels along with us. If you ever have any recommendations – please share them. We live to serve!

    I like to follow the leaders and teacher that are way ahead of me, too. I want the envelop of my life to be pushed and challenged. I want to continue to grow and become more like my King.

    I also like to share what I have been shown or the amazing things I discover, just like you.

    Who are some of your favorite people to tweet and retweet? I want to make sure I am not missing out!

  • http://twitter.com/JOYFULLTOO Melinda Y.

    I RT alot of @Virtual_Abbey prayers-their tweets are glorifying and edifying to the body of Christ.
    For pastors, who really stand up for Christ- @smalltownpastor @MaxLucado @pwilson @blakebergstrom @RonEdmondson @stevenfurtick @RickWarren @MarkBatterson @greglaurie @PastorTullian

    @MarriageMentor is a favorite of mine because they are alligned biblically on the subject of marriage. They encourage good choices that enhance marriages and build strong families.

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    Hey, Tami. You didn’t ask me, but I retweet YOU. :)

  • http://twitter.com/KarynBrownlee Karyn Brownlee

    On Twitter, I’m choosey about who I follow, but do not mind whoever wants to follow me. Facebook is a bit of a challenge because it is a mutual following or “friending.” That’s why I now have two pages. One for real friends, that is, people I know personally and with whom I can share freely. The other page is open to whomever. We are taught in the Bible to care for strangers, so surely we should make some allowance for them on Facebook if they wish to connect with us. On another note I’d like to add this, I believe that an overconcern for being “associated with the wrong people” on social media reveals our common struggle with pride. And frankly, anyone who has the time to analyze whom someone else is following probably needs to get busy on God’s assignments for them. Just my view. :)

  • http://twitter.com/JOYFULLTOO Melinda Y.

    I retweet Tami, Toni, and @stickyJesus too…keeping their tweets on speed dial for quick access. :)
    Recently started following pastor @steve_berger His tweets are full of spiritual vitality and truth.

  • Tami Heim

    Karyn Thanks for sharing your ‘follow’ practices – I know many struggle with who they should and should not follow. You hit a heart matter dead on! Sometimes a Christ follower’s association with someone is the only opportunity a person may have to see something different – to see Christ.

    Jesus took a lot of criticism for the folks He kept company with, but that never stopped Him. If we are truly following Him, why would we not follow His example? Why would we think others would respond any differently to us or criticize us any less? I see things from your ‘view’ – well said. Bless you!

  • http://twitter.com/kennysilva Kenny Silva

    Take a look at my blog roll and you’ll find some great folks to connect with. 😉

  • Tami Heim

    Thanks Kenny – we sure will.
    Bless you.