Seven Reasons Why People Who Follow Jesus Get the Most out of Life

 For most people, following Jesus is not the secret of getting the most out of life. Jesus is religion. Yikes!

No one ever called Jesus “religious.” He didn’t give people a list of stuff to believe. He didn’t saddle them with a bunch of religious duties. That was the Pharisees, not Jesus. 

The main thing people felt when they were with Jesus was LIFE. He was better at attracting crowds than the Beatles.

When people were around Jesus they felt alive. They were in the presence of that “something” that we all crave but can never lay our hands on. 

Jesus didn’t teach a religious technique. Jesus was the life. When people followed Jesus they found everything their hearts desired. They knew for certain they were getting the most out of life.

Here are seven reasons why following Jesus was—and is—the way to get the most out of life. 

Following Jesus is the the way to get the most out of life because…

1. Jesus turns life’s tragedies into a door to God.   

Every life casts a shadow: cancer, depression, debt, divorce, addiction, obesity, rejection, memory loss, death. No one escapes their shadow.

The standard way to deal with life’s shadow side is to hide from it. This is exactly like trying to  escape your own shadow. No matter how deeply you bury your life in entertainment, no matter how much your drug yourself, the shadow shadows you. 

The surprising thing Jesus said is that people who feel the shadow the most are most blessed.  

Jesus is not an escape. You can no more escape your shadow Jesus could escape his cross. Jesus becomes a way to make your shadow a doorway to the light. 

Following Jesus is the the way to get the most out of life because

2. When life is a confusing mess, Jesus is a heavenly guide. 

Religions claim to know what God is thinking and doing. But God is beyond human comprehension and life is too mysterious for simple explanations. 

Jesus didn’t go around like the Bible Answer Man, explaining everything. (“Here’s why God made mosquitoes…”) If anything, Jesus’ teachings made God seem more mysterious. 

Jesus did come to offer an explanation. He came to offer himself: “Take my hand. I got this. I got you.” 

The first step is not understanding but trust. We understand more as we follow, but following creates the understanding; never the other way around. 

When you feel the sure hand of Jesus on your life, somehow the questions don’t seem so urgent. You relax. He’s got this. 

Following Jesus is the the way to get the most out of life because…

3. Jesus gives hope when there is no hope.  

Probably, you keep your hope alive by focusing on some future event: marriage, a new house, a new car, having kids, a vacation, retirement, a raise… 

As great as these things are, they turn life into a roller coaster. You only have as much hope as the next event on your calendar. One day you run out of calendar. The ride is over. 

When you find Jesus, you find hope that is bigger than a calendar. Life’s pleasures are no longer passing events. They are tastes of eternal glory. Life’s sorrows are sweet sorrows because they are the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. In all things, God is working for good. Even death is transformed to life.

Jesus called this new world of hope “The Kingdom of God.”

Following Jesus is the the way to get the most out of life because…

4. When you feel like garbage, Jesus loves you. 

You may say you believe in God’s love but I’ll bet you don’t feel it. You think God loves you when you’re good. But you have secrets. Dark secrets. How can a God who sees through you love you?

Because God’s love is not a reaction to you. God doesn’t love you because of anything. God loves because God is love. 

Jesus said God’s love was like sunshine and rain. It doesn’t discriminate between good people and bad people. It pours from heaven and falls on everyone. Jesus revealed this love. He forgave the soldiers, even as they drove the nails through his hands. He forgives you too.

When you live in God’s love, it changes you. You know firsthand what it means to be saved by grace. 

Following Jesus is the the way to get the most out of life because…

5. When you feel rejected Jesus will help you find true friends.   

In a fallen world, we love each other conditionally. We are friends with people who think like us, look like us, and behave like us. As a result, we experience life’s greatest pain: rejection. We’ve all dished it out. We’ve all felt it. It HURTS.

When we experience God’s love for us, we learn a new way to treat each other. Our hearts remain open to others, no matter what. We reject no one. We even love our enemies—especially our enemies. 

Followers of Jesus don’t give you a litmus tests to test your orthodox. They don’t insist that you behave in a certain way. They want you to be pure, 100%, undiluted YOU. 

They’ll love you. Period. 

Following Jesus is the the way to get the most out of life because…

6. When you feel like a nobody, Jesus makes your life matter.

Technology is taking over our world. Everything feels programmed. It’s hard not to feel like part of an algorithm, a line of computer code, a faceless nobody whose life is a meaningless nothing. 

Jesus said everything God makes, right down to the tiniest sparrow, is known and loved. People are like snowflakes, each one unique, each one filled with glory.

This world may not see this glory but God does. When you discover who you are and express it without hesitation, you sparkle. You stop playing to the crowd and begin to dance for the only audience that matters: the audience of One.  

God delights in this dance and uses it to bless others. You become the light of the world. You shine!

Following Jesus is the the way to get the most out of life because…

7. When you’re stressed out, Jesus will show you how to rest.

Ask anyone how they’re doing. The most likely answer will be, “Busy.” We are busy because we think everything depends on us. It’s up to us to make something of ourselves, to secure our future, to find happiness.

After making the world, God rested. Was God tired? No. God was done. Creation was perfect.

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