“And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus” (John 1:37).
When I was but a tender sapling just called into the ministry -- long, long ago; in a galaxy far, far away -- this particular verse of Scripture became a personal inspiration to me, insuring that my aspirations in preaching to others would always hold the highest and truest of motives: “The disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”
Even to this day, that is my deepest longing in all the ways God has blessed me to communicate with others – including you. These RYLISMS, as the header states, are but “a growing collection of brief devotional thoughts to encourage a deeper love of Truth and a closer walk with Jesus....”
For the record, I have not always held true to this noble motive.
There have been stretches of time when I preached for what I could get from it -- the praise of others, the admiration of peers, the sense of self-worth that comes from doing well, and the acclaim that gifting from God can cause in the midst of men. I’m not proud about that; and I am grateful that lighting did not strike during those stretches of vanity.
Still, in it all, it is a great joy to know that many are following Jesus as a result.
Wouldn’t it be a good thing if each of us had a measure of grace to effect similar results in our own service? That we, like John, would speak and act in such a manner that others, as a result, would follow Jesus….and become more and more like Jesus in their character and conduct.
Perhaps you won’t mind me asking a personal question. If others around you decide to follow you -- your example, your advice, your opinions, your mannerisms – will they become more and more like Jesus, or will they become merely a clone of yourself?
Whose Kingdom are you building?