Attributes of a Follower

For the remainder of this series, The Footsteps of the King, we will be providing a short blog on aspects of being a follower of Jesus. 


Jesus taught on prayer, but perhaps as importantly his disciples saw the effect prayer had on Him and they asked Him to teach them again! Can you imagine how curious they must have been to ask Jesus to tell them something he had already explained in detail? He must have arisen from his time of prayer with an incredibly palpable sense of mission! They wanted to be filled with the same sense of mission. They wanted what He was receiving from his personal prayer life. 

Are you familiar with his teaching on prayer in Matthew 6? In our memorization of it we miss a lot of the beauty of the prayer or we take it for granted. Jesus tells us that praying for the approval of others is dangerous. Second, he tells us not to be overly repetitive as though God is not a good Father. And then, he moves us through the intimacy, justice, provision and protection of the prayer. The disciples knew all of this and yet asked him to teach on it again anyway; they did so because they saw his countenance when he got up from praying in Luke 11. 

The other thing we often ignore about the Lord’s prayer is that Jesus uses the word “reward” a number of times which throws us off because we know that salvation is not be merit but grace. Jesus is already fully there (see the Beatitudes) and therefore helps us see our earthly reward for enjoying what He purchased for us, specifically in prayer. All that said… I think the reward (based upon Matthew 6, Luke 11, Romans 14:17) is peace in our hearts, a sense of God’s love, and a confidence ion our calling as His agent of grace and love. That is the reward. Where do I get it? In your prayer closet. 

Guard Our Hearts

Jesus followers guard their heart, which means they are intentional about Following Jesus - loving God and neighbor; as an activity of the mind and heart and hands. When the Bible talks about their heart, it refers to mind, will, and emotions — which are interconnected, dynamic, and relationally-dependent. Thanks to Plato we think it is not so, but we know it is so in our being. Our mind gets to speak with our emotions. Our emotions affect how our will speeds us up and slows us down. And our will is often why do what we do when we do it!

So, where in your calendar are you going to love God? Morning? Evening? Would you add to that time saying the words, “God I love you”? It may feel odd. It may not! But it is part of how we, by faith, enjoy the life of life purchased for us by Jesus! And it is subversive in thwarting our anxiety, disproportionate anger, and shame. So take a moment and look at your calendar and pen in a time to love God. This is a way of guarding the good heart you have been given, and it is a way of breathing in the promises of God . 

Holistic Confession

The footsteps of the King - that is the title of the series helping us be grasped by the kingdom proclamation of Jesus, found in Mark’s Gospel. Mark records Jesus from a spinning camera without stopping to say “cut” and certainly without any voice over! His work is incisive and invites us to keep up! The king explains that in our natural state we are alienated from God and we believe, quite falsely, that we can make it on our own. We watch as Jesus surrenders to God — which will enable us to surrender and receive the kingdom he proclaims. We notice that he prays and we learn to do so also. He re-defines leadership and religion as service received and empowered by faith and we learn that humility is the only way to do life in light of his kingdom. 

Jesus followers confess His lordship in their lives holistically. This term, though clunky, is better than evangelism or witnessing because it embraces our natural hypocrisy with a winsome hilarity; our confession of Him is a whole thing that we do - mind, actions, words, gut, feelings and our actual lives. When sharing about the hope within us we will inevitably be caught in some kind of hypocrisy to which we can reply, “You don’t know the half of it! I’m even worse than that, and that is why the good news is so sweet — I know I’m still His and that He is growing me up and out of that tendency/hypocrisy/sin.” 

So when you offer to go to the grocery for your neighbor… Or even better, take them up on an offer of help; then we are holistically confessing by wisely engaging our neighbors, even with social distancing. We pray, we approach humbly, and we then befriend the people in our lives — this is holistic confession.