Luke 9:23

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Anyone can follow Jesus: it’s your choice to make. But Jesus said, “If you’re going to follow me, there are some things you must do.” First, He said, a believer must “deny himself” and give Him first priority. We must be willing to say to that part of us that always wants its way, “You cannot dominate here any longer.” Next, a believer must “take up his cross daily and follow me.” We’re 2,000 years removed from the original context of this message. Today the cross is a symbol of Christianity, but in the first century the cross was a method of execution. The Romans executed people publicly in order to make an example of them, and crosses sometimes lined the roads outside Roman cities. So the cross was a hated thing for Jesus’ audience. When He said you must take up your cross that was not a casual invitation. He was clearly inviting them to reorient the agenda of their lives around Him. And He wants us to live out that new agenda “daily.” Being a Christ-follower is not about giving God an hour or so on the weekend. Being a Christ-follower is a daily set of choices. It’s about saying, “Jesus, what does it look like to honor You at home, at work, at school, at the gym, with my time, with my resources?” Living with this Jesus-orientation will not limit your life; it will bring you more blessing, more hope than you ever could have imagined.


Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of being a part of Your family, Your Kingdom. Thank You for allowing Your people to play a part in Your purposes in the earth. I choose to follow You with all of my heart and all of my words and all of my decisions. Thank You for all the ways You have blessed me and given me hope for the future. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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