Let’s talk about how to follow Jesus.
But not all at once. That’s a big topic! But I want to at least START the conversation with you by sharing parts of my story. Because we could talk about different aspects of what it means to follow Jesus all day long. But in general, I would like to start talking about what following Jesus looks like in my life on a more consistent basis here on the blog.
If you follow me on instagram stories, then you knew this video/blog post was coming! I’ve been working on it for the past 2 days and am excited that I’ve been able to get it down from 25 minutes to just under 10. Hopefully, with a little more practice, I’ll get better as this whole video thing and will be able to share more on the blog too! Well, that is IF y’all like it and want me to!
I’ve always talked about my faith in some capacity – either on my blog, my instagram, etc for several years now. It’s always been a part of who I am and thus what I share. But lately – after asking you guys for feedback on content – I was encouraged to talk about it on more of a consistent basis. Like, make it part of my regular content I share rather than just randomly as it comes to me (which typically resulted in not sharing much at all because I would talk myself out of it).
And since Instagram stories are such an easy medium for me to communicate (less pressure), I’ve been talking about it more consistently there. It seems that you all have really enjoyed it as I’ve gotten more positive feedback than ever before. Granted, the topic of faith is going to elicit more conversation and feedback than say, kitten heels or bomber jackets. But still, it’s been amazing and the interactions I’ve had with many of my readers/followers has made me feel alive again, passionate about what I do, and willing to take risks.
Which leads me to this video today. And opening back up my “Faith” category on BTD – except unlike my other content on the blog, I’m thinking videos will be HOW I do it.
So let’s get to the video already! You can watch it below:
How to Follow Jesus: What I Learned from John 8:31-32
Brief Summary: In this video, I talk about my experience and what I learned from memorizing John 8:31-32. It’s cool how memorizing a verse forces you to piece apart a verse as you commit each word to memory. I take you through my thought process, the questions I asked, and what I realized in the process.
I committed to memorizing John 8:31-32 about 2 years ago after realizing how important it is to memorize scripture, which I talked all about in this blog post.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The main thing that struck me with this verse is the fact that it used the word “IF”. Because my somewhat math brain immediately was like, “OH, if THEN reasoning. Jesus is making a conditional statement.”
Here’s the conditional statement broken down.
IF you Abide in my word, THEN we get THREE things:
- Thing ONE – I’ll know you’re my TRUE disciples (bc you’ll be abiding in my word)
- Thing TWO – You will KNOW the truth
- Thing THREE – and that truth (that you know) will set you free
So let’s break this down.
[2:25] THING ONE – You Will Be A True Disciple
Okay, So How do I be a True Disciple?
Well Jesus just said that He will know his TRUE disciples by whether or not they’re abiding in His word. Which FOR STARTERS blew my mind BECAUSE in saying that there are TRUE disciples, he is ALSO saying that there are (in fact) UNTRUE disciples. OH EM GEE. This actually blew my mind and I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
What if I was an UNTRUE disciple? Was I abiding in His word? No, not really. I didn’t even really know what the check he was talking about (to be honest) when He said “The Word” to begin with. (elle-oh-elle).
But okay, back to the question – how do I be a TRUE disciple?
He tells us that we must abide in His word. There are two concepts we need to address in order to understand what Jesus is saying: (a) Abide and (b) His word.
(a) Abiding – could also mean committed to it. When you’re abiding in the word, you are persuaded by it’s truth and your eyes are opened. When you are not abiding in the word of God, it’s hard to believe the truths that Jesus is talking about (they probably annoy you or don’t make sense). It’s hard to hold the promises of the bible as a treasure and a blessing. But when you’re abiding in the word, the truths become so real to you that they start to affect how you live your life.
As humans our actions are a manifestation of what we believe
how can this not mean that there is at least a little bit of work required? So are you saying that if I don’t follow Jesus’ commandments, then I’m not really saved? THIS STUMPED ME. So that’s kind of saying that if you don’t abide in His word, then you’re His “UNTRUE” disciples. Because couldn’t I just say I believe, but maybe not understand what I’m saying?
I think that’s the point.
Jesus is saying that when you believe, it’ll change your world. And if it’s not, then maybe you need to chase after it a greater speed. Which is where I got stuck.
And where I thought – Well, I gotta start running faster.
[6:30] Part of the definition of “disciple” means to be a learner, someone that’s constantly wanting to know more about Christ and who He is.
I took the first step and then God came and put wind in my sails.
(b) The Word – I didn’t go in to detail on this in my video because I got sidetracked. But I actually looked into this a lot. And what I realized is that Jesus is (I think – disclaimer: I didn’t go to seminary) talking about a lot of things here. It’s interesting that he uses a singular noun here to describe “the word.” – like he’s talking about a big collection of “words” and ways (ha). And in other translations he uses the word “my teaching”. Whatever the translation, I think he’s basically talking about a lifestyle that comes from KNOWING the words that He has given us – AKA the bible. And specifically, the WORDS that He has given us that tell us how to live our lives. For instance, the old testament commandments, the great commandment to love others more than ourselves, all the parables, and all the others parts of the bible that tell us HOW to act and be more like Jesus. (whew that was a lot, but hopefully you’re picking up what I’m putting down here).
[7:05] THING TWO: And you Will Know The Truth
It’s interesting because by saying this next, Jesus is basically saying that not everyone will know the truth. Right? It will just be his disciples, the people that are following him, the people that are in His word. And what’s cool is that (for these people) the Holy Spirit illuminates truths to you. you will hear something that 100 other people will hear and it will light YOU on fire because the Holy Spirit makes it more real to YOU.
[8:08] THING THREE:And the Truth Will Set You Free
Which means, you’ll be set free from living eternity apart from God, from guilt, from Sin, from shame.
And you’re free to live in the light, joy, and comfort of God’s presence. You’re free to have a PERSONAL relationship with the God of this universe, that created YOU. ISN’T THAT AMAZING?!
Okay let me know your thoughts! Whew, I’m worn out! haha
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