I have been reading, studying and thinking a great deal about DISCIPLESHIP! We know the word well and we like to think that we are making a really good effort of accomplishing discipleship – that is being and making disciples, but the truth is, while we have some really good programs that we call discipleship, much of what we do is programming and it may or may not accomplishing the making of disciples.
A disciple is a person who has a relationship with God through Jesus and because of that relationship chooses to follow Jesus and live as He lived! As we live the way that Jesus lived, we will affect others in the same positive ways that He did. Our faith in Jesus has to go deeper than our simply believing that Jesus is our Savior; the evidence of our faith is our following Him. And following Jesus is not automatic; we must make a choice!
In Luke 9:23 Jesus says: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” What do we do with this verse? If we read it and take the time to think about it, then it has very serious ramifications, that is, it changes our life and the way that it is lived.
When we deny ourselves – we say no to self, so that we might say yes to God. What gets in the way of your saying yes to God? When my will is in conflict with His will, it is through my denial of self that makes His will become possible and victory a reality.
When I read and think about this verse, I can’t help but to think about the sacrifices that I need to make, so that I can truly follow Him. I will tell you right now, that taking the time to think through this verse has helped me to realize that there is much that I need to let go of and there is much that I need to grab hold of. My problem is this: I am often tempted to grab hold of the wrong things and to let go of the right things!
This is my prayer! Lord, I want to come after you! Help me to deny myself, so that I choose your will over my will at every opportunity. Help me to take up my cross and make whatever sacrifice is necessary to live in your perfect plan. Help me to follow you step by step every moment of every day!