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FIRST-PERSON: In step with Jesus

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)–Dressed in tatters, Pastor Charles spent the week wandering the streets, seeking work, asking for help during the blizzard. His parishioners looked away, not recognizing him. Describing his adventures the next Sunday, he challenged people to begin exhibiting the compassion of Christ — to walk as Jesus walked.

In 1896 Pastor Charles Sheldon wrote “In His Steps” which posed the famous question, “What would Jesus do?” We’ve been called to follow in Jesus’ steps since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example (1 Peter 2:21).

What does it mean to walk “in His steps”?

When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we begin walking in “newness of life” (Romans 6:4). We no longer walk “according to the flesh,” but “according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). Do you need an about-face in some area of your life?

Jacob Koshy only wanted to be wealthy. His one-man drug-smuggling network landed him in prison in Singapore. He rolled smuggled tobacco in the pages of a Gideon Bible. Awaking with only a scrap of charred paper in his hand, he read: “Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute Me?”

Later Jacob read the story of Saul’s conversion. He asked Christ to come into his life and change his steps. He shared his story with other prisoners. Upon release, he got involved in a church, met a Christian woman, married and became a missionary. He tells everyone, “Who would have believed that I could find the truth by smoking the Word of God?”

Jesus Christ dramatically alters the direction of our lives when we begin walking with Him. He changes our steps.

Alan McGinnis conducts therapy sessions with depressed clients while walking up and down the streets near his office. Once out and moving, the depressed client often feels much better.

The spiritual exercise of walking with Christ brings a glow to our cheeks and brightness to our eyes. Suppose the president invited you to hike with him at Camp David. Now imagine walking with Christ each day, following His example of obedience — His Cross Walk.

Your daily walk — the joyful and loving disposition of daily obedience — is a witness to those around you.

We must continually ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” Was He concerned for others? Then we must be, too. Did He help the unfortunate? Did He shine light into dark lives? Then so must we.

Those in step with Jesus also walk with new determination. Jesus’ face was set, and His feet pointed resolutely toward the cross. There was no turning back. “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).

This is a difficult time to be a Christian. The liberal media present weakened moral values to our children. We’re sometimes forbidden by law from mentioning our faith in public arenas or at work. And around the world, millions of Christians are facing persecution.

When we’re in step with Jesus, we say: “The world behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back.”

Being in step with Christ also implies a new destination. Two of the most encouraging words in the Bible are “far better!” Referring to the possibilities of his dying, Paul wrote, “I am hard pressed between the two [living or dying], having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23).

Do you ever worry about dying? Such fears are normal, but as we continue walking with Christ, something abnormal begins to happen. We realize we’re on a pilgrimage, and our ultimate destination is far better.

Is your life in step with Jesus? He went where He was needed, His face always forward, His footsteps always pointing onward.

Why not get in step with Him? Why not pray, “O Master, let me walk with Thee.” Why not say, in the words of an old Gospel song:

“Footprints of Jesus, that make the pathway glow.

“We will follow the steps of Jesus, where’re they go.”
David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., and chancellor of San Diego Christian College (formerly Christian Heritage College). For more information on Turning Point, visit www.TurningPointOnline.org.

    About the Author

  • David Jeremiah

    David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

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