The Cost of Following

DO YOU RECALL JESUS' RADICAL philosophy of servanthood? It's found tucked away in His now immortal words:

He said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me."

LUKE 9:23

Following Christ as His disciple is a costly, unselfish decision. It calls for a radical examination of our self-centered life. Whew! That's one of those easy things to say but awfully tough to carry out.

Let's see if I can break this down into smaller, bite-sized chunks so we don't gag on it. When you look closely at Jesus' statement, a couple of things seem important. First, those who desire to follow Him closely must come to terms with self-denial. Second, the decision to give ourselves to others (taking up our cross) must be a daily discipline. That means every day, I bow before the Lord and recommit to the truth that I am not the center of my world . . . that I've been called by Christ to give myself to meeting the needs of others.

That's costly stuff. Terribly expensive.

If we take His words seriously, then it isn't difficult to see some questions that we must ask and answer ourselves, like:

  • Am I serious about being a close follower of Jesus Christ?
  • Do I think of others to such an extent that self-denial is becoming the rule rather than the exception in my life?
  • Am I taking deliberate steps to take up my cross daily?

What is it that keeps you from making such a self-denying commitment to Christ today? A relationship? Your desire to advance your career? A stubborn habit or addiction you just can't shake? Bring whatever it is to Him. He knows where you are. He's been there . . . done that. Yet He went to the Cross for you. Will you take up your cross for Him?

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.


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