What is the most difficult thing you have ever tried to do? Ride a unicycle? Front flip? Get fit? Stay fit? There are plenty of things in life that are pretty difficult to do. But they all pale in comparison to the challenge to be an authentic disciple of Jesus? When Jesus was teaching the crowds of people following Him: 23 …he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 With this challenge, Jesus wanted to move the crowds following Him to committed Followers. He wanted them to count the costs.
Taking up our cross daily means dying to self every day so that Jesus is first…. That is not easy. Naturally, we want to focus on our desires, plans, interests and agendas. But Jesus’ call to us is to lay down our plans to follow Him. At Watermark, we say to “make an impression and leave a mark for Jesus Christ!” So what are the costs of discipleship? Discipleship calls for an investment from me of my time, talents and treasures… investing to grow in my faith, to serve, to assist in leading others to faith Him. What does that look like in your life? Are you willing to take up your cross? It is a daily endeavor, and it is not easy.
For much more on moving from the crowd to the committed, listen to Part 7, Conversations with Jesus.