Following Christ as His disciple is a costly, unselfish decision. It calls for a radical examination of our self-centered life. Whew! That's one of those easy things to say but awfully tough to carry out.
DO YOU RECALL JESUS' RADICAL philosophy of servanthood? It's found tucked
away in His now immortal words:
He said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give
up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me."
Following Christ as His disciple is a costly, unselfish decision. It calls
for a radical examination of our self-centered life. Whew! That's one of
those easy things to say but awfully tough to carry out.
Let's see if I can break this down into smaller, bite-sized chunks so we
don't gag on it. When you look closely at Jesus' statement, a couple of
things seem important. First, those who desire to follow Him closely must
come to terms with self-denial. Second, the decision to give ourselves to
others (taking up our cross) must be a daily discipline. That means every
day, I bow before the Lord and recommit to the truth that I am not the
center of my world . . . that I've been called by Christ to give myself to
meeting the needs of others.
That's costly stuff. Terribly expensive.
If we take His words seriously, then it isn't difficult to see some
questions that we must ask and answer ourselves, like:
- Am I serious about being a close follower of Jesus Christ?
- Do I think of others to such an extent that self-denial is becoming the
rule rather than the exception in my life?
- Am I taking deliberate steps to take up my cross daily?
What is it that keeps you from making such a self-denying commitment to
Christ today? A relationship? Your desire to advance your career? A
stubborn habit or addiction you just can't shake? Bring whatever it is to
Him. He knows where you are. He's been there . . . done that. Yet He went
to the Cross for you. Will you take up your cross for Him?