I remember a short story I read many years ago from a youth magazine. It was titled “I Will Still Follow Jesus.” I remember it was narrated from the first person point of view of a young man.

The friends he grew up with and fellowshipped with in church have turned their backs from the faith they knew. One of them turned back because he said he was molested by their youth pastor. But the most surprising to the narrator was a young lady, who once led prayer groups and used to be very faithful at church. Nonetheless—despite the confusion it brought him—the narrator decided to “still follow Jesus.”

What does following Jesus really mean? Many times in the Bible He said, “Take up thy cross and follow me.” Does following God really entail carrying a heavy cross—a heavy burden—in each step that we follow Him? Is this reason enough for opposing established norms?

When I think of Jesus and all that He did, I remember Him making miracles—feeding the multitude, walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the sick, throwing off tables at the temple, giving sight to the blind, freeing an adulterous woman, casting out devils, raising the dead, speaking at the synagogue with learned men, dying on the cross and raised from the dead, changing lives.

A gospel of love. Indeed. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about His love for us. He came to save.

Many opposed Him because He seemed to go against the law and the prophets. The ones who opposed apparently failed to see that love knows no bounds. And, that was just what Jesus did—He loved unconditionally.

A lot of us fail to see the essence of love in the Christian faith. Often we’re bound by rules and unspoken regulations that keep us from loving the other. Often we’re bound by doctrines or a list of what-to-do’s in living our lives as Christians. Often we’re bound, and fail to see the reality of John 3:16.

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

A journal entry dated April 20, 2015.

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