Overcome bigotry, like Nathanael.  Realize that Jesus died for all people.  Ask Him to take away your prejudices and replace them with faith.

Be willing to serve in obscurity, like James the Less.  Know that you don't need to be famous to help change the world in powerful ways. Realize that your service is highly significant and that God notices, even when other people don't seem to notice.

Have a teachable spirit, like Thaddaues.  Keep an open mind as you learn more about Jesus. Be willing to let Him change you in profound ways.

Find the best cause for which to give your life, like Simon the Zealot.  Don't invest your life in any cause lesser than the one that truly matters. Rather than dedicating your life to something like politics (as Simon originally did), dedicate it to Jesus to use however He will.

Don't try to use Jesus for your own agenda, like Judas Iscariot.  Examine your heart, and test your motives for following Jesus.  Make sure you're following Him only because you love who He is and want to be close to Him. Don't try to manipulate Him into giving you what you want.

Confront false teachers.  Don't be afraid to frankly share the truth with cult members and others who are following religions that don't lead to the true and living God.

Never give up.  Continue praying for people who seem as if they'll never begin relationships with Jesus - people who mock Him or are hostile toward Him. Realize that you never know how things will turn out, and that God is able to turn their hearts to saving faith in surprising ways.

Be willing to pay the cost of following.  Decide that you will make whatever sacrifices are necessary to follow where Jesus leads you. Be willing to endure persecution and deny yourself material things that hinder your spiritual walk.  Be willing to repent of your sins on a regular basis.

Give all you can.  Be generous, and trust that if you give what you can cheerfully, God will use it well. Give your money, time, energy, and talents to further God's work on Earth. 

Embrace God's promises.  Know that Jesus' disciples will enjoy fruitful lives, answered prayers, His presence with them constantly, and eternal life in heaven. Trust in these promises, and keep them in mind as you make decisions. Look forward to reaching the end of your life and hearing Jesus say you kept the faith well.

Adapted from Follow Me: Christ's Call, Our Response, copyright 2004 by John MacArthur.  Published by J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tn., www.jcountryman.com.  

Dr. John MacArthur is the president of Grace to You and the author of dozens of bestselling books.  His MacArthur Study Bible was awarded a Gold Medallion and has more than half a million copies in print.  As the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California and the president of The Master's College and Seminary, Dr. MacArthur's ministry has encouraged millions to strengthen their relationship with God.  Grace to You produces an internationally syndicated radio program and distributes print, audio, and Internet resources featuring Dr. MacArthur's verse-by-verse Bible teaching. Dr. MacArthur and his wife, Patricia, live in Sun Valley, California and have four grown children and 13 grandchildren.