“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” Luke 11:52

If someone asked you, “what does it take to follow Jesus?” What would you say? Would you tell them they need to confess Jesus as their Lord and savior? That they need to start going to church? Maybe that they need to read their Bible and pray every day? When it comes down to it, what is at the heart of following Christ?

Maybe someone has said to you that to really be a Christian, or at least a good Christian, you need to listen to the right music, stop watching certain movies, read the right Bible translation, or dress a certain way.

What does Jesus say to those who would follow him? Does he tell them, “follow me, but first get your act together”? Or does he simply invite them to be his disciple first and life change follows?

Like the Pharisees and experts in the law, we can take good things and turn them into essential things. We can take beneficial and important and even lovely things about following Christ and turn them into burdens and hurdles for those who are trying to figure out who Jesus is and if he’s worth the cost of discipleship. Today, brainstorm a list of what is essential about being a Christ-follower. What does Scripture say is essential? Rejoice that God has given us a way to know and follow him and ask him to help you make that way clear for others, and not put stumbling blocks in their path.

By Jessica Rust

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