With the New Year fast approaching, it is time to pen our New Year's Resolutions. What are we going to do differently this next year than last? What are we going to change in our lives to be able to magnify and display God's glory more passionately throughout our daily conversations? We have so many choices to make, yet so little time. What is most important? What is most influential? What is significant? If you read the first part of this series, we are digging into Luke 14 and pursuing with caution what Christ has to tell us about discipleship. What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? What is the cost of being a disciple of Christ? Where will this pursuit take us? Jesus knows what it takes to be His disciple and He will teach us from Luke 14:25-33.
Last time in this series, we looked at the first condition to being a disciple of Christ. I will not review, because the second condition will take up a significant portion of this post. So, if you want to read about the first condition, read it here. The second condition that Christ outlays for us in wanting to become his disciple, however, is rather convicting. This condition is found in Luke 14:27. Luke 14:27 says, "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." What does this mean? Well, what Christ portrays for us in this verse is a stunning metaphor. What does the cross signify? The cross is a symbol of self-denial, self sacrifice, a complete negation of our own self-will. This metaphor of the cross takes on two different extensions. One extension is the broader picture. The picture dealing with our everyday choices and actions in embracing God's will or our own will that directly affects other people. The other extension is more narrower in that we are dealing with our own actions and desires in regards to our flesh. We will look at the first extension in this post.
Our own choices and actions have direct consequences attached to the bigger picture of life. Yes and....... what is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever, right. How do we glorify God? We glorify God by being so entirely consummated in His will that we want to obey Him. Obedience is the key. These actions and choices that we make minute by minute need to ultimately be processed into what God wants us to accomplish at that specific time and place. If that means, say for example, helping an old lady cross a street. Do it. Or, going into town, standing on a soapbox, and reading the Sermon on the Mount. Do it. Whatever it is, God wants you to take up your cross and follow him. No matter the cost. The cost of discipleship is great, but well worth it in the end.
If I have to use Jesus for an example, I will...... to stamp these truths into your brain. We just celebrated His birth a day ago. No doubt, Heaven felt magnificently comfortable. No pain, no sorrow, complete joy, complete peace; yet He left all that. He left the confines of comfort. Oh yeah, I can begin going on a rampage on how we enjoy being in our comfort zone, in our secluded space, and eating our "comfort" foods per se; and Christ humbly did the exact opposite. He left the confines of comfort and joy to be born in a relatively cold cave in a borrowed manger. To not only teach us that He is the ONLY way, but TO DIE A HORRIFIC DEATH FOR US. A DEATH WE JUSTLY DESERVE. To bear the sin of the world on his shoulders, while crying out "My God, My God; why have you forsaken me!" He was CRUSHED!!!!! And, we think our pain is horrific. Forgive us Lord.
He ultimately gave Himself to the Father's will. He is the ultimate example. We need to do the same. Follow His example and leading. Take up our cross and follow Him.
Sola Deo Gloria!!!!