Saturday, March 15, 2014

I Am A Follower, A Book Review

I Am A Follower, book cover from

I Am A Follower is a solid book on following Jesus in a world of "leaders".

Leadership is as much, if not more, about following than it is about "leading". We do not need more leaders we need more followers.

Sweet does a comprehensive job addressing following verses leading in this work, I Am A Follower, and refocuses our attention away from leadership and towards following Jesus, our true and ultimate leader, who models and exemplifies servant and selfless sacrificial leadership.

This is an important leadership book for all leaders who are leading in this self-promoting and self-absorbed culture of being first and "in charge". We would do well to get back to the roots of leading through following. I highly recommend I Am A Follower to anyone interested in learning more about leadership and discipleship.

Get your copy of I Am A Follower here.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do Whatever Jesus Tells You To Do

Cana, photo by

“[Jesus’] mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” –John 2:5

What do you believe about Jesus? What does your life say about what you believe about Jesus? These are very important questions for us to consider and for us to ask ourselves as we follow Jesus with our lives. 

One of the greatest messages in the New Testament, in my opinion, comes from Mary, the mother of Jesus, in John 2:1-12. Here at a wedding in Cana in Galilee, Mary asks Jesus to do something about a dire situation at the wedding feast. The wine had run out in an embarrassing turn of events at the feast and this threatened to end the festivities prematurely.

Jesus responds with initial resistance, saying to Mary, “My hour has not yet come.” Then, “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’” (John 2:5). It is at this point that Jesus does His first recorded miracle. He takes the six water pots, which were for ceremonial washing and cleansing, holding about 120-180 gallons of water, and He turns the water into wine. This blesses the couple and the occasion and the celebration is able to continue.

In the book of James the author states that you can tell a lot about what someone believes by looking at what they do. James says, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds (James 2:18).” Our beliefs affect how we live our lives and how we live our lives illustrates what it is we believe.

So, what do our deeds say about what we believe about Jesus? If someone were wondering if we were following Jesus, could they tell if we were following Jesus by looking at our lives and by looking at where we are headed?

Just this week the printer was acting up in the teacher workroom and it would not print my work, no matter what I did to try and solve the problem. When I went to the printer to assess the situation, it said, “printing,” but it was not printing. I took no comfort in the fact that the printer was telling me that it was printing, when it was in fact doing nothing of the sort. What the printer was saying and what it was doing were two completely different things.

I proceeded to reflect on this “printer incident” for the rest of the day. I thought to myself, “This is exactly what we do in our relationship with Christ sometimes.” I wondered if Jesus was looking at my life and asking, “Are you really following me?” We say we are Christ followers, and if someone looked at our label it may read, “Following Jesus,” but are we really following Jesus? Do our lives say that we are following Jesus? Are we doing whatever He says to do?