Follow Me

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Devotional

Luke 9:23, “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Who is it that can be a disciple of our Lord Jesus? What is it that our Lord calls us to do? That is exactly what He tells us here.

If…” Every human everywhere is indeed commanded to repent, but none is forced to do so apart from his/her own free will. Sadly, not everyone will respond to the call to follow Christ, but some will. “If” you choose to follow, this is to be your response.

Anyone desires…” Oh blessed invitation! The call has gone out into all the world – anyone who hears the voice of Christ and responds to the call of repentance can indeed be saved. Jesus died for the entire world upon the cross, and all those who choose to follow Him can come to the cross, and thus come after Christ. Friend, is this your heart’s desire? Do you long to belong to God? Then follow after Christ & His call!

What is our response? Jesus gives us three things: first, “deny” yourself. So much of our world is centered around seeking what we want, and finding the things that we desire. We live in a culture of selfishness, which sadly is often reflected among the Church. Yet Jesus calls us to the opposite. Instead of seeking after ourselves, we are to deny ourselves and seek first the kingdom of God.

Secondly, the disciple is to “take up his cross daily.” Remember that the cross is no mere inconvenience; it was a gruesome instrument of death. The cross was the method of execution reserved for the most dire of criminals, and the Jews considered it an accursed death. This is the extent to which we are to deny ourselves. To “take up our cross” is not merely to bear a burden, as our language so often expresses – it is to take up the mode of our own death. We are to crucify our flesh with its sinful desires, and daily die to our self-rule in our lives.

Third, we are to “follow” Christ. Oh praise God that we have Christ whom we can follow! How terrible it would be to crucify ourselves on a daily basis, and yet have no direction. What despair – what despondency! Yet we are not left to our own devices & misery – we are given Christ. We follow Jesus in His death, but we surely follow Him in His life as well. Jesus went to the cross, but He was also raised from the grave. So does a disciple of Christ follow Him in putting to death the self, but following in the life and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Do you desire to follow Christ? Then follow Him to His fullest extent: the promise of the resurrected, eternal life in sweet fellowship with our Lord & King!

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