‘If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.’ John 12:26
Suggested Further Reading: John 13:12–17
This is just what Jesus Christ says to us. We are his deacons, his servants. We engaged, in the day when we gave ourselves to Him, that we would take up our cross and follow him; and he points today to some high mountain, saying, ‘If you would serve me, follow me.’ He asks you not to lead; he himself has gone before; he calls you to no labour which he has not himself already accomplished. Oh! can you say in your heart today -
‘Through floods and flames if Jesus leads, I’ll follow where he goes;
‘Hinder me not,’ shall be my cry, Though earth and hell oppose.’
This is true service, the best that can be rendered, to follow where he leads the way, let the way be never so rough or arduous, to persevere to the end, even though the end be a martyr’s death. Come, brethren, and especially those who are beginners, and have but lately enlisted in Christ’s cause, let me mark you out Christ’s way, and then, if you would serve him, follow him. I know the proud flesh wants to serve Christ, by striking out new paths. Proud man has a desire to preach new doctrine, to set up a new Church, to be an original thinker, to judge, and consider, and do anything but obey. This is no service to Christ. He that would serve Christ must follow him; he must be content to tread only in the old footsteps, and go only where Christ has led the way. There must be nothing about our religion of our own inventing; it is for us to lay thought, and judgment, and opinion at the feet of Christ, and do what he bids us, simply because he gives the command. Look then disciples at your Lord.
Sermon no. 463
3 August (1862)