April 24, 2016

I Commit to Discipleship

Luke 9:23-27

When we follow Jesus in discipleship, it starts at the cross. Not his cross, our cross.

When Jesus said these words to his disciples, he had not yet been crucified and resurrected. He said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

The cross—though we wear or know it as a symbol of Christianity—had only one meaning at the time of Jesus: it was an instrument of death. Anyone who saw a cross knew that reality.

When you give your life to Jesus, you are dying to self. You take on a new boss; a new master. Christians voluntarily declare and submit to Jesus as Lord. We agree to do what he says. We die to our self and we commit to follow him in obedience. We take up our cross daily and follow him.

The good news is Jesus’ cross for us is not the terrible end to an otherwise happy life. Rather, it is the beginning of a life in sweet communion (fellowship) with Jesus. It involves learning, growing, serving, and, yes, at times suffering, maybe even to the point of physical death. Yet we have his promises: He will never leave us or forsake us. He will always be there with us (and in us) through his Holy Spirit.

I like to think about dying this way: If we make a home for Jesus in our heart, he will make an eternal home for us in his heaven. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”