“To be a Christian is to be loved by God, pursued by God, and found by God. To be a Christian is to realize that in your sin, you were separated from God’s presence, and you deserved nothing but God’s wrath. Yet despite your darkness and in your deadness, his light shone on you and his voice spoke to you, inviting you to follow him. His majesty captivated your soul and his mercy covered your sin, and by his death he brought you life. Do you know for sure that you are his child, not ultimately because of any good you have done—any prayers you have prayed, steps you have taken, or boxes you have checked—but solely because of the grace he has given?”
In Follow Me, Pastor and now president of the International Mission Board (Southern Baptist mission agency), David Platt takes a look at how we have come to understand the Christian life in 21st century America, and how we have gone astray from what the clear call of the Bible is for the Christian. Simply put, Jesus never calls us to “pray a prayer” or walk and aisle to receive salvation, but rather to heed Jesus’ call to “follow me”. This call is a call to die… and it is a call to live. Christ has pursued us with matchless love. When we follow Christ, we turn our back on the pursuits and pleasures of this world, for the far greater worth and eternal joy found only in following Jesus. The Bible describes this as a conversion, an exchange of the old life for the new life in Christ (Gal. 2:20), a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), with a new heart (Ezk. 36:26). Therefore, our lives in Christ should look radically different than our lives when we were slaves to sin and death. Yet for many Christians today there seems to be little, if any, difference in the way we live, the things we pursue, and the sins we struggle with. Our problem, according to Platt, is that perhaps there are many people who think they are Christians, but in fact according to the Biblical standard, they are not. Our need is to fix our eyes on Christ and to follow him in the dangerous paths of love and grace into our world.
As we follow Christ, our goals and our passions begin to meld with Christ’s goals and passions, not just for ourselves but for the whole world. We want to see Christ glorified among the nations – 2 billion of which have no access to the gospel – this should break our heart as it breaks God’s heart. We have been born again to reproduce spiritually. We are carriers of living water as we pass countless people dying of spiritual thirsts each day. Jesus has invited us to follow him… it’s an incredible, costly, joy-filled, adventure that will culminate with the nations gathered before the throne giving Him the praise and honor that He alone is worthy of.
Conclusion: Read this book, it will stir your affections for Christ. If you’re not a follower of Christ, read this book, it will put forth a vision of what the Christian life can and should look like. Rarely do I read books twice. Follow Me has made the cut. This book may be the best book about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in our day. Having read this a second time, I believe it is even better than David’s book Radical (which I also loved).