Following Jesus is easy, right? No worries, no problems, everything is sunshine, roses, and prosperity.
That’s not what it sounds like in these words from the Savior found in Luke 9:23. He told the crowd if they wanted to truly be His followers, they had to give up, take up, and then follow.
First there’s that surrender thing. UGH! Give up my own way? Like, give it up? Wait just a minute….
Makes you think, huh? Count that cost. Giving up being the one in charge of your life. Of course, in truth, you’re not really in charge of your life anyway, but your mindset is that you are. We have to give that up. Agree with God that we are not the one in control. Relinquish that illusion and accept the truth to take the next step.
“Take up your cross daily…” Say what? What’s that mean? Each day we must choose to be obedient to God, to His commands. We must look beyond ourselves to serve others. That doesn’t usually mean we have to literally pick up a huge wooden cross. More likely it’s interrupting our schedules and plans to do something we either don’t want to do, like to do, or didn’t plan to do.
Obedience is twofold. First, it’s required. To do differently puts us outside the presence of God because it is sin. Thankfully, He has made a way for us to move back into His presence: through confession (agreement with God that it is sin) and repentance (turning away from it). God is faithful to cleanse us from that sin and restore us to righteousness. Secondly, it is the way we show Him and others that we love Jesus. (See John 14:15)
It seems that Jesus knew that in order for a person to truly follow Him, to represent Him to the watching world, he or she would have to surrender control and make obedience to Him a way of life. Then they would be ready to follow Him in all circumstances.
It’s a process, Believer, but we’re expected by God to grow into that. Remember, Jesus said this to a crowd, but only a few took Him up on it.
Today is YOUR day to step out of the crowd to become one of the few.
Are you ready?
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
To view the video of this devotion and others, subscribe to my YouTube Channel. (Today’s will be available later today.)