As you probably know, we are walking through Riverwood’s mission here on the blog. Because your life is filled with work, family, busy schedule, election news, and your Facebook feed, let me share our mission yet again:

To invite the spiritually disconnected to find and follow Jesus.

This week, we are ready for the second to last word – “follow.” But to discuss it, let me define this week’s keyword with an example.

Follow: Defined

When you were a kid, did you ever play “Follow the Leader?” If so, you know that it wasn’t enough to simply walk where the “leader” walked. If the leader raised her right hand while walking, you had to raise your right hand while walking. If the leader jumped three times on top of a step and back down, you had to jump three times on to the step and back down. You didn’t just go where the leader went, you had to act as much like the leader as possible.

To follow Jesus means you love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.

That’s what we mean at Riverwood when we talk about “following Jesus.” It isn’t enough to simply “go to church” because Jesus went to the synagogue every week, or to simply read your Bible because Jesus read from the Hebrew scrolls.

To follow Jesus means you love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived. And when we read about Jesus in the Scriptures, we see the passion He had for the Father and the compassion He showed to humans.

So how can you grow in your passion for the Father?

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]Is it through worship music?[/list_item]
[list_item]Through reading the Scriptures?[/list_item]
[list_item]Maybe it is through taking a walk out in nature?[/list_item]
[list_item]Is it through times of silent prayer?[/list_item]
[list_item]Maybe it is through a really good book or attending a conference?[/list_item]
[list_item]Or maybe is it going public with your faith through baptism?[/list_item]
[/list]

Likewise, how can you grow in your compassion for others?

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]Is it to serve at the Food Bank for the first time?[/list_item]
[list_item]Is it to take some homemade cookies to a new neighbor?[/list_item]
[list_item]Is it to visit someone in the hospital?[/list_item]
[list_item]Is it to invite someone over for a meal or take a co-worker out for lunch?[/list_item]
[list_item]Is it to join a Growth Group?[/list_item]
[/list]

Let me encourage you to grow in both areas – your passion for God and your compassion for your fellow humans. Because as you grow in these two things, you’ll truly be following the best Leader of all time.