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The Footprints of Jesus

by E. Claude Gardner

Jesus is "our everything" and we also sing, "O what a Savior!" He is our "prophet, priest and king" and also, our example. Jesus wants us to follow in His footprints.

Jesus is the model to follow. He left us an example of suffering, but truly He is an example in everything good. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

The world idolizes (and some Christians do also) Elvis Presley, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Mickey Mantle, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Jerry Garcia, O.J. Simpson, and other celebrities. However, the only perfect model is Jesus. He is perfect and honorable in every aspect of His life. The more we read of Him the more readily we agree with the centurion at the cross -- "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matthew 27:54).

In the classic, In His Steps, Charles Sheldon tells of a person who was confronted with a problem and resolved it by asking, "What would Jesus do?" This is solid advice when faced with any decision or dilemma.

We should sing the little song:
"Be like Jesus this my song;
Be like Jesus in the home or in the throng;
Be like Jesus all day long."

We can go wherever Jesus would go, read whatever Jesus would read, see whatever Jesus would see, and try to do whatever Jesus would do.

He is "the way" (John 14:6). Also, Christianity is called "the way" -- it is the way of life as we follow Jesus (Acts 9:2, 24:14).

Can we follow others? Can we imitate the example of others? Yes, conditioned on their pointing us to Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1, Matthew 5:16).

Why do we need the footprints of Jesus? It is imperative for us because we are not wise enough to choose our changes. Men ignorant of God or rebellious toward Him are groping in this world of darkness (Jeremiah 10:23).

Also, we need Jesus because He is the only way to God (Matthew 11:27). Without Him none can go to heaven to be with God. Jesus said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6).

The way, the narrow way, is made plain by the big footprints of Jesus. The way of holiness is prepared for us (Isaiah 35).

When we accept the call of the Gospel we follow the Master who makes us useful, as He did Peter, Andrew, James, and John (Matthew 4:18-22; John 12:26).

How are we to follow Jesus? We should follow Him in prayer, service, love, obedience, holiness, and self-sacrifice. Jesus taught self-denial and the development of the spirit of sacrifice. This means we must make a complete surrender of our lives (Luke 9:57-62; Matthew 10:28-31).

The redeemed ones are those who follow Jesus (Revelation 14:3-5). They are the ones who have heard the voice of Jesus (John 10:4,5,27). His voice teaches: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). He said we must do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21). If we "follow afar off," as did Peter, we will get into difficulty as did he (Luke 22:54).

Satan makes footprints, too, but to follow him will lead us to eternal destruction. We must always be on guard so that he cannot deceive us.

The "good man" will be blessed for following the Lord (Psalm 37:23). Our Shepherd leads us in paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3). The Psalmist prayed, "Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me" (Psalm 119:133).

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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