“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24 NIV
We’re forgetful beings. We forget the things people have said to us or what we have said to other people. There are times we even make a conscious effort to try and forget things…painful things. A strange paradox it is forgetting, remembering, and trying to forget. In the good times of our lives it is so easy to forget we still need Jesus. I mean after all, it is because of His grace we have every good thing… and it's not of our own doing. In the tough tragedies of life it can also be difficult to remember what the Bible preaches to us.
Specifically speaking in the American Christian culture, it is so easy to forget how Jesus said His followers would actually live—what their new lifestyle would actually look like upon dying to self. In the Scriptures we see the followers of Jesus abandoning everything for the Gospel. Jesus called them to take up their crosses daily, and that’s exactly what they did. I’ve heard many different interpretations of “taking up your cross”, but when Jesus was saying this, He wasn’t saying we’re going to have to carry a heavy burden around for the rest of our lives...the cross was an instrument of torture. Jesus meant if we want to follow Him, we must die a torturous death…to ourselves. Followers of Christ gave up money, security, convenience, and even family for Him (Luke 14:26). Following Jesus is not going to be easy—it is filled with suffering and can seem like it is much, much loss. The Gospel reminds us that everything we lose for Christ is eternal gain, and this is good news, my sisters!
Christians, I encourage you to count everything you have had to give up for Jesus as loss. The Scriptures remind us that when we lose everything, we gain Christ. Jesus is enough. Nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction we find in Him. When we rely on God’s power, we can deny ourselves and live a life that is fully saturated in the Gospel. No loss in this life compares to the joy found in Christ.
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and mercy. Help me to remain disciplined with Your Word, and give me a radical desire to follow You at any cost. Sanctify me Lord. Help me to always be reminded that I must give up everything if I want to follow You. You alone are enough, and You alone are all satisfying. Make me lose my life in order to save it. Amen.
Are you prone to forget what following Christ actually consists of? Read Luke 14:27 and examine yourself. Pray. Meditate on what the Scriptures say about the new lifestyle believers must embrace.