Luke 9:23 - FOLLOWING JESUS.
Luke 9:23 (NLT) Then he said to the crowd,
If any of you wants to be my follower, you must
turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross
daily, and follow me.
Luke 9:23 (NCV) Jesus said to all of them,
If people want to follow me, they must give up
the things they want. They must be willing to
give up their lives daily to follow me."
I, Me, Mine, Myself
Those four words stood out in bold print.
They appeared as if they were forming an
enormous monument, each letter seemingly chiseled out
of granite. At the base of this strange
"monument" were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people
with their arms stretched high, as if worshiping
at a shrine. And then, in very small letters,
this caption appeared at the bottom of the
editorial cartoon: "Speaking of American cults "
Surrounding the borders of this picture
were four familiar lines from well-known
"Have it your way."
"Do yourself a favor."
"You owe it to yourself."
"You deserve a break today."
Jab, jab. Twist, twist. That kind of
stuff cuts deeply. Because it is so terribly true.
Yet we constantly applaud the I-me-mine-myself
philosophy in subtle as well as overt ways. Self-help
books sell into the millions. Society insists on
elevating the mantra "look out for number one" at all
Jesus turned to Peter and said, " You
are seeing things merely from a human point of
view, not from God's." Then Jesus said to his
disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you
must give up your own way, take up your cross,
and follow me." Matthew 16:23-24
That could not be any clearer, don't you
agree? Are you striving to promote your
perspective, demand that your way be accepted, or your
voice be heard above others? Are you in the middle
of a conflict with someone you love that,
unless one of you stands down and defers to the
other, is only going to intensify and cause lasting
damage? Listen to Jesus. It's time to turn from
selfishness and strife as you embrace the way of the
Cross. Lay down your rights. And leave the striving
to Him. [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.]
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."
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? [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
Luke 9:23 - HOW TO FOLLOW JESUS.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
Steps to Peace by Billy Graham:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio: https://www.awr.org/bible
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: