We become more like the Lord Jesus if we follow His lifestyle.
TEXT: Matthew 6:5-8; John 4:31-34; 1Peter 2:19-25.
It is very imperative for us as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to follow in His steps. Through His lifestyle and teachings, the Lord Jesus Christ set for us a standard of life which if strictly adhered to, we shall live victoriously here on earth. It should be our greatest desire therefore to follow in his steps on a daily basis no matter the situation we find ourselves. He should be our role model and example. We are admonished in the scriptures to look into Jesus ‘the Author and the finisher of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2). Because Chris is God, He left for us a perfect example to follow. As we follow in His steps, we are able to fulfill God’s mandate for our lives. By doing so, we will be able to shine as light in this dark world of sin.
The objectives of this study are:
- To discuss what it means to “follow in His steps”
- To understand the implications of following in His steps.
- To outline some of his footsteps/ way of life that we are commanded to follow.
Q1. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE WORD “STEPS”?
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, ‘step’ can be said to mean among others, “to lift and put one’s foot, in order to walk in the directions or the place specified”. It could also mean to put one’s foot on the foot print of another who had earlier walked through that spot. In this context however, the word ‘steps’ means following and living our lives patterned after the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at all times, in all areas, circumstances and situations. This implies that as followers of Christ we must be ready to pass through even difficult situations just as Christ did during His life here on earth. However, we have
this confidence that just as Christ was victorious in it all; we shall also come out victoriously if we walk in His steps. “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Q2. DISCUSS WHAT I MEANS TO ‘FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS’ AND THE IMPLICATION OF THAT INSTRUCTION (Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:23).
To ‘follow in His steps’ means to emulate and pattern our lives as believers in conformity with the lifestyle of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. As we follow in His steps , we will be fulfilling the Lord’s expectation and will make us victorious and successful in all areas of life. The implication of that instruction is that the Lord Jesus Christ will testify about us just as the Father testified about him in Mathew 17:5 “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” Paul realized this fact when he wrote to the Colossians, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful unto every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). We must be ready to pay the price of following in His footsteps and this implies that we must deny ourselves, take up the cross daily and follow Jesus. As we do this, Christ will be pleased with us and empower us by the Holy Spirit to overcome because “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1John 4:4).
Q3. OUTLINE SOME OF HIS ‘FOOTSTEPS’/’ WAY OF LIFE’ THAT WE ARE COMMANDER TO FOLLOW (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15016, 6:12-15, 11:1-2, 23:34; Mathew 6:5-8, 14:23, 26: 36-39, 27:46; John 11:41-42, 12:25-29, 17:6-13.
If we must remain the true disciples of our Lord and Master Jesus then we must be ready to follow His footsteps in virtually every are of our lives and every situation we find ourselves. We must endeavor to conform wholly to His lifestyle, His way of doing things. It is only by doing so that we can be a light in this perverse and crooked generation. We shall briefly discuss below so aspects of His lifestyle that we are commanded to follow.
a) His prayer life: The prayer life of Jesus is a worthy example for every believer who wants to follow in Hos steps to emulate. He was both consistent and persistent in His prayer life. He spent reasonable time in prayer before He undertook and major action or decision.
Jesus knew the importance of prayer, so in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place and there prayed. He was in constant and regular contact with God no matter the time and no matter the situation confronting Him. He has enjoined us as his disciples that when we pray, we should enter into our closets and shut the door and pray to our Father Who sees in secret and He will reward us openly.
Jesus took out time to pray for His disciples and even His enemies while He was hanging on the cross to pay the penalty of the sins of the world. We must also follow his examples to pray for others, even for those who hate us. Jesus taught His disciples to pray. We as His followers should learn from our Master to teach and encourage those around us to pray especially those that the Lord has committed into our hands to bring up in the things of God. We should therefore make prayer a priority in our lives at all times and in all situations no matter how trivial they may seem.
b) His attitude towards food (John 4:31-34; Matthew 4:4; John 6:27): Jesus had a focus and knew what the Father sent him to accomplish here on earth and would not allow anything distract Him not even the need for food. After fasting forty days and forty nights, the devil thought he could make Christ danced to his command as a result of the fact that He (Christ) was hungry. Christ quickly replied by saying ” it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that precededeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also cherished doing the work of God much more than physical food. In fact, He said that His meat (food) was doing the will of the Father Who sent Him and to finish the work. The Lord Jesus exercised discipline when it came to the issues of food; He did not allow food to distract Him from doing the will of the Father; to Him doing the will of the Father what the real meat. This also should be our attitude towards food, especially in fulfilling God’s call upon our lives. It is amazing that believers can hardly fast because their bodies cannot do it without food, no matter how short the period is going to be.
c)His sleeping habit (Mark 1:32-35, 4:37-39, 14:37-41; Luke 22:46): The Lord Jesus slept when He needed to rest (Mark 4:37-39). However, He was never giving to sleep that He had to leave off what was confronting Him at any point in time. He was accustomed to waking up early before day, to go and pray. Even when His disciples abandoned Him and also slept, in his sorrow and agony, He did not allow the desire for sleep distract Him from what was facing Him at that time. We must not allow the desire for sleep prevent us from rendering acceptable service to God. However, believe should learn to rest when necessary.
d) Attitude towards suffering (1 Peter 2:19-25): Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world. As painful as that was He never complain, rather He committed all to the hands of the Father. “For even hereunto wear ye call, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving off an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did know no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who when he was reviled, reviled not; but I committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:19-23). We must be ready therefore to suffer for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. ”Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
The life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ remains and will remain the only example for all believers to follow. He has set for us standards to follow in every area of our lives. It is only through this that we can make difference in our little corners thereby pointing people to the saving knowledge of the Savior. When we follow his steps, we are going to be victorious and successful in everything we do. If we must be Christ’s representatives here on earth then we must earnestly desire to be like Him in every area of life. There is no other way we can achieve this except by following His steps.
1 Peter 2:21
“For even hereunto wear ye call, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving off an example, that ye should follow his steps”