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CAPA Corner

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    Bellingrath Elementary celebrated the end of school with a parade! It was complete with a marching band, floats, police escorts, a flag team – it was a great parade! (I got to watch it from my backyard.)
    Something important in a parade is to follow the one in front of you. But following isn’t always something that comes natural. Our society encourages us to question the one in front, question any authority claims, decide for yourself. Knowing why you are following someone is critical. And that is true even of following Jesus.
    Jesus is to be followed because He is Lord.  It is true that Jesus can and will do much for us when we follow Him. But consider that the main reason Jesus is to be followed is because of who He is, not because of what He can do for us. 
    Jesus is to be followed because He is the Lord of authority. Jesus’ detractors were overwhelmed at times by the innate authority that He possessed. Some sent to detain Him instead came back to their leaders and said no one even spoke like Jesus did.
    Jesus is to be followed because He is the Lord of creation. Of Jesus, John wrote, “All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3). I personally have not been convinced to believe any other viewpoint but that the personal God created us and has a purpose for our lives, both in time and in eternity. We realize that purpose when we follow Him. 
    Jesus is to be followed because He is the Lord of judgment. While on Earth, Jesus predicted a terrible judgment that would come. God does not delight in judgment, but in mercy. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. He is slow to anger and abounding in love toward every sinner (Exod. 34:6-7). Yet He is also the righteous judge. God is not only a God of love and grace. He also is a righteous God who is set in His wrath against all sin.
    Jesus is to be followed because He is the Lord of salvation. Thankfully, Jesus is not only a Lord of judgment but of salvation! Those who accept His offer of salvation will be safe when judgment comes. As the Lord of salvation, He offers peace with God through the forgiveness of sins. On the cross Jesus satisfied the wrath of God for every sinner who will trust in Him. The cross of Christ is offensive to our proud, sinful hearts, because we must lay aside any notion that we can save ourselves or that we’re good enough to get into heaven. We must admit that we are sinners who desperately need a Savior.
    In His death, the perfect Son of God offered Himself as the substitute for sinners. He came “to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). 
    Why should I follow Jesus? Some people may say honestly, “I follow Jesus because I am hoping that He can heal my broken marriage and give me a happy home life.” I assure you that He can do that, but that is not a good enough reason to follow Jesus. Others may say, “I follow Jesus because I struggle with many emotional problems, and I’m hoping that He can give me inner peace and joy.” He certainly can give you inner peace and joy, but that is not an adequate reason to follow Jesus. Neither of those are reason to tenaciously follow Jesus. Following Jesus can also give you increased trials and persecutions!
    The main reason to follow Jesus is because He is the Lord! He is the Sovereign Lord of authority, who works all things after the counsel of His will. He is the Lord of creation, who spoke the universe into existence, who created you for His purpose. He is the fearful Lord of judgment, before whom every knee shall bow. He is the gracious Lord of salvation, who gave His life so that all who believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Jeff Stanfill,
Covenant Community Church

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