Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Becoming a Christian involves no cost at all on our part. Jesus paid the price of sin for the whole world on the cross. It is through His death, burial and resurrection that the plan for mankind to be saved from their sin was completed. The gift of salvation was bought for us by the blood of Jesus Christ. We must merely admit we have sinned, ask God to forgive us of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ as our only Savior. He is not a way, but the way to heaven and a relationship with God.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Becoming a Disciple on the other hand has a great cost to those that will follow Him. Jesus says the cost of following Him is, self denial and bearing our cross daily. The walk with Christ should not be sugar coated, or presented as a path to an easy life. That certainly was not the life that Jesus promised to His followers.
Denying ourselves for the good of others is what Jesus first told His disciples that they needed to do to be a follower of His. Prioritizing others needs before our own. That sure runs counter to much of today’s teachings. We must be willing, by the grace of God, to reach out to others in their trials and help them In Spite Of our own difficulties.
Take up our cross daily is the next qualification of discipleship. While helping others, we need to navigate our own trials. The cross is a symbol of suffering. We need to be grateful for the suffering of Christ on His cross, for without it we would still be lost in our sin. However, we all have our own crosses to bear as we follow the Lord.
The world around us needs Jesus! The people in our sphere of influence are going through their own set of trials. As yesterday’s devotion said we have people that are watching us. The crosses that we carry may be very heavy and hard to bear, but by the grace and strength of the Lord we can bear them and show those watching God’s power working in us. Being a disciple means to put Christ’s love and light on display for others to see. At times, that’s not easy, but who ever said following Christ would be? Not Jesus.
Let’s do our best to qualify as a disciple of Christ today!