Following Jesus is a journey of faith that leads to the transformation of our lives. This journey is available to anyone, no matter what kind of life they have lived or how many wrong choices they have made, as long as they trust Jesus to be their guide.
In his book, Seizing Your Divine Moment, Erwin McManus wrote, "No matter what kind of life you've lived, no matter how many wrong choices you've made, the next moment is waiting to give birth to new life."
This quote is a powerful reminder that following Jesus is about looking forward, not backward and trusting that He can transform our lives, no matter what our past looks like.
One passage that teaches this truth is John 8:1-11, where a woman caught in adultery is brought before Jesus. The religious leaders demand that she be stoned, as required by the law of Moses. However, Jesus responds in a surprising way. He says, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7).
The crowd disperses, and Jesus speaks to the woman, telling her that He does not condemn her, but He also commands her to "go and sin no more" (John 8:11). This encounter shows us that no matter how far we have strayed from the path of righteousness, Jesus is always ready to forgive us and give us a new start.
Following Jesus requires leaving our past behind and embracing the new life He offers us. It means recognizing our mistakes, confessing our sins, repenting, and turning to God for forgiveness. When we do this, we experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, which enables us to move forward with confidence and hope.
Another benefit of following Jesus is that we discover a sense of purpose and direction. When we commit to following Jesus, we commit to living a life that is guided by His teachings and His example, as we trust His death and resurrection for hope and new life.
Living a life guided by Jesus's teaching is to live with love, compassion, forgiveness, and generosity. It means working to conform to the image of Jesus by doing the disciplines He did (prayer, fasting, solitude, service). This is the way we align our lives with God's will.
Faith is crucial to following Jesus. To have faith means we trust Jesus more than we trust ourselves. We trust that He will forgive our sins, help us overcome the sin and the doubt that plague our lives, heal our wounded hearts, and make us new creations. Living with faith in Jesus moves us to believe that no matter what kind of life we have lived, He has the power to forgive us and make us into brand new people.
Following Jesus is a journey of transformation, maturity, and renewal. This journey is open to anyone, no matter who they are or what they have done. So let's seize the divine moment and commit to following Jesus, trusting that He will transform our lives and give us a new future full of faith, joy, hope, and love.