WALKING IN THE WAY OF JESUS
Are we walking as Jesus walked? Are we following in His footsteps? Have we abandoned our lives to Him?
“By this we know that we are in Him: Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.” — 1 John 2:5-6
Have you ever watched a young child at the beach try to walk in the footprints of his father? He focuses his complete attention on the challenge. His small feet and his short stride are no match for his father’s mature gait. He hops from one footprint to the next in his endeavor to walk just like his dad.
Jesus calls us to walk in His footsteps. He asks that we follow Him so closely that we match Him stride for stride. Just as the young child loves his father and longs to be like him, so our love for our Savior inspires us to seek to be like Him. We focus our attention on the challenge of walking in His way.
“Lord, what about him?” — John 21:21
Peter, ever the bold and forthright apostle, one day poses this question to Jesus. His Lord had just shown this apostle the path he was to walk… feeding the flock of God and glorifying Him. Peter looks around and sees his fellow apostle, John. He asks his Teacher what is to become of him.
We often pose such questions to our Lord. “What about…?” We wonder about others… how our walk compares and contrasts with theirs. We may question why their paths appear so untroubled… or perhaps why their paths are wrought with obstacles. Yet Jesus’ response to Peter is His response to us today…
“What is that to You? You must follow Me!” — John 21:22
Jesus wants our focus to be on Him alone… to follow His ways and not the ways of others. Each person chooses the path they walk. His will is our path… the one He has chosen for us… and the one we choose. One day our questions will all be answered. Until then, our trust lies in His omniscient sovereignty.
“Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.” — Luke 9:23
Jesus calls us, His disciples, to deny ourselves… to lose our lives for Him. We resist the temptations and pressures of the world and its ways. We no longer cling to this life… but release our grasp upon it and embrace the eternal life our Savior offers.
Jesus asks us to take up our cross daily. Crosses great and small come along in our lives. These crosses offer us opportunities to choose the Lord’s way over our own. We forsake our willful ways and choose His path… the higher road. Although His way is not always what we would like, it is always His best for us.
Jesus entreats us, His disciples, to follow Him. Many refuse His call, believing the cost to be too high. Yet our Lord does not call us to an unknown path. It is a path He has walked before us. He has paved the way. He has endured the suffering for us. We need only follow in His steps.
“Be imitators of God, as beloved children.” — Ephesians 5:1
We can trace the footsteps of Jesus throughout the gospels. In studying His life and His ministry, we learn from the Master Himself. As children of God, we learn to imitate Him… to act as He acted and live as He lived in this world.
Obedience to the Father was of paramount importance to the Son. The life of Jesus exemplified the will of God. Jesus only acted as His Father commanded (John 14:31). The Son always glorified the Father.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to obedience. God’s Word teaches us His ways to follow. The Holy Spirit enables us and empowers us to obey. The closer we follow in our Master’s footsteps, the more we become like Him.
“Walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us.” — Ephesians 5:2
The life of Jesus was a display of love in action. Everything He did flowed from a heart of compassion. Every encounter was an expression of His love… a love that is deep and genuine… a love that accepts… a love that forgives. He desires that His followers live out His love in their lives.
As we step out and follow our Lord, let us walk in His love. Let us be like Jesus to all we encounter, abandoning our lives to Him. Through the guidance of His Word and the Holy Spirit, let us live as Jesus lived in this world… walking in His way. Let us follow in the footsteps of the Master.