Updated: Jan 4
Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
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.
In our most basic state, we as humans are selfish, we want what we want, when we want it. In today’s passage we see a pretty clear demand from Jesus himself. So you have come to a place in which you understand you are a sinner in need of a savior, that is the first step, Jesus is asking us to take another very important step and asking us to do it in faith. Jesus is asking for full surrender. My flesh hates this, your flesh hates this, all of our flesh hates this, why? Because of our selfish tendencies. But, turning to Jesus in full surrender is not something that benefits Jesus, He could accomplish His will without us, this full surrender is for our benefit.
Do you desire Jesus, or do you desire His promise? This is a very tough question to think about, and in either case eternal salvation can and will be the ending result. Do you seek only salvation or do you truly seek the Savior? It is a lot like employment, I can either seek employment to garner enough money to buy that one thing I want, or I can seek continual sustained employment, the benefits are obvious. Yes you can seek salvation, but I would encourage you to look at the much bigger picture.
Jesus asks us to come after Him, meaning naturally He is there to come to. If you think about it, how amazing is this statement? The God who created Heaven and earth wants you to seek after Him. How much more encouraging could a statement be! But, there is a cost, we must deny self and take up our cross and follow Him daily. Is that a price worth paying? What does it mean to deny self? As your relationship with Christ grows, you come to a place of greater understanding of His demands and His guidance. You see, God does not set restrictions to stumble us, He sets the restrictions to set us free from the bondage’s of this life, to protect you from them. Jesus does not seek to take away the fun this world has to offer, He seeks to protect you from the dangers they inevitably cause. To deny self is to deny the things our flesh desires that lead to spiritual death.
The cross is a symbol of death, death in this world. Our focus should not be on the things of this world, they should always be focused on the eternal. Death in this world for the believer leads to an eternal life with our Savior. We should be taking up that cross daily, what does that look like? We should be living life in complete surrender to the Lord daily, especially if we are carrying the cross. We are not promised tomorrow, so if today is our last, we should be clinging to the promise of the cross, and doing so in complete surrender.
Jesus tells us at the end of this statement to follow Him. If we are following Him, we should know His desire for our life, we should know how He would live, we should know Him. This is a growing experience, each and every day should be spent getting to know Him more, so that eventually, we would know His desires and demands intimately. We should know the manner in which we must carry the cross daily, always following Him.
Are you living this life in hopes of obtaining the gift of salvation or are you living a life of surrender that will ultimately lead to salvation?
Luke 9:24 (NKJV)
24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
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