Melvyn Tan
November 24, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

A True Follower Of Christ

[blockquote source=”1 Peter 2:15 (NIV)“]For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.[/blockquote] Being a Christian When I became a believer in 2010, I thought that being a believer means attending church, saying grace before your meals, wearing a cross, and listing “Christian” under religion.  But […]

[blockquote source=”1 Peter 2:15 (NIV)“]For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.[/blockquote]

Being a Christian
When I became a believer in 2010, I thought that being a believer means attending church, saying grace before your meals, wearing a cross, and listing “Christian” under religion.  But deep down, I knew there’s more to it.  And so I did what I knew how.  I read.  I would read whatever comes my way that relates to Christianity.  Almost everything, except the Bible.  Yes, I have thought that it would be cool if I can tell my friends that I have read the Bible cover-to-cover.  And to impress some people, I’ve memorised some verses just so that they would really think that I am a hard-working Christian.  Further, I would pepper my speech with, “Praise the LORD” and “Amen”, just so that I seem to be so grateful for everything God has done.  And truly, I was grateful, but only for the good things that happened to me.

When Bad Things Happen
However, for all the bad things that happened, I would seek to use my own abilities and strengths to rectify it.  After all, God has given me all these talents, so wouldn’t I be denying God if I didn’t use them to solve the problems?  And sometimes, I do get around resolving some of these problems.  But, no matter how hard I try, some of these problems keep coming back.  And I would just keep on keeping on.  I mean, perhaps I didn’t use my talents to the fullest, so, remember the Parable of the Talents?  Don’t bury it.  Use it.  And so I did.

Finding the Next Curve
Then I decided that I wanted to challenge myself, to find the next curve.  To move to the next level in my career.  To grow.  To scale.  To expand.  To be big.  But then I would ask myself, what’s the next curve?  And then I would try this, and do that, and somehow or rather not be able to do anything meaningful.  And after much (okay, I confess; it’s a lot of) attempts, I would drop down and sink into my chair, feeling exhausted and completely wasted.  What am I to do?

Its A Trap
What happened was I fell into two key traps.  The first trap is that of being a Christian by name.  I was basically calling myself a Christian, but I do not carry out God’s will.  And I wanted people to believe that I am one.  But all I was was just being the Christian that I, once as a non-believer, hates.  You see, before I became a believer, I’ve hated Christians.  I’ve hated them because I think they are self-righteous and condemning all others.  In fact, there seems to be that arrogance in them, where they see themselves far superior than others.  And I was fast becoming that Christian that I hate.  I was doing all that.  The second trap is that of a performance trap.  In other words, I was basically relying on my own strengths and capabilities to get things done.  I was still thinking that I have everything in control and that I’ve got it all figured out!  And that’s a huge trap, because going down that road would mean that I’d think it is based on my own merits that I would go to heaven.

False Disciple
Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven…”  I was basically, what Jesus would referred to as a false disciple.  Because essentially that’s what I was doing.  I was paying lip service by saying that I believe in Christ, but in reality, I was relying on my own capabilities.

The Question
Henceforth, the question that I’d like you to reflect upon today is as follows: what are you doing to be a true follower of Christ?  Notice in today’s verse it says “doing good”.  Not being good.  Not saying good.  Not thinking good.  But doing good.  Notice also in Matthew 7:21, Jesus used the verb, “does”; not be, not say, not think.  In other words, it is not your intentions.  It is not what you think.  It is definitely not what you say.  But what you do?  Are your actions in congruence with your thoughts if you are a believer?  If you say you believe in God being the Creator of all things, then are you relying on your own abilities?  If you say that you are a follower of Christ, then are you denying yourself and picking up your cross daily?  If you say that you are a disciple of Christ, then are you doing the very thing that He commanded – making disciples of all nations?

That’s the Will
If you are not able to answer all the above questions in the affirmative, you are not alone.  I face the same issues everyday too.  But as Peter said in 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”  Hence, we must use whatever gifts we have to serve one another, to help each other do God’s Will.  So that together, we can be a true follower of Christ.

Prayer
Father, we thank You for the gifts You have given to us.  We pray that as faithful stewards, we will use our gifts to serve one another so that together, we can do Your Will and be a true follower of Christ.  In Jesus’s precious name, we pray, Amen.