· Just a Thought
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My sister told me that her husband asked her a question recently – “What is a second-hand Christian?”.

My brother-in-law was just making a joke as they were passing a stall in their local market displaying the rather ambiguous sign pictured, but it made me think.

A serious answer could be someone who has been brought up as part of a religious family or community, even attending church and identifying as a Christian, but not actually in a relationship with God.

I am thinking of a relationship with God as a serious commitment. Many people do not have a dramatic conversion story, and might even think that they don’t have a relationship because they do not feel that they have had a supernatural experience, but they have chosen to follow and obey God, to learn from the Bible what he wants and expects, and to try to become more and more what he wants them to be.

When Jesus called his disciples ( Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17-18 etc.) we see the words, “follow me” – translating the Greek for “come after me” – but I believe that what he actually said was, “lech aharai” –“ walk after me. “

This did not mean only to follow, or to come with him, but was the form a Rabbi would use to those he would choose as his disciples – those who would recognise and obey him and serve him as their teacher and example in everything, and who would try to become as like him as possible.

In John 14 v 15 we read, “If you love me, you will keep my commands…”, or “If you love me, keep my commands “. He wants to be our guide and teacher, and to rejoice in our obedience.