Take up your cross…



Scripture: Luke 14:25 Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26 “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? …33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.

Observation: It would seem Jesus was trying to provide something of a reality check for the crowds following him (v.25). One would expect following Jesus, listening to his teaching and witnessing his miracles, was akin to following the circus. It was exciting, entertaining, low risk. Jesus was trying to recalibrate their expectations.

Application: I can remember the early years of being a committed Christian. The Lord found me at a time when I felt lost in life. I was floundering, unsure, unfocused. I was finishing my bachelor’s degree and moving into the working world – but I sensed I was meant for something other than sales/marketing (my field of choice). Leaning into my faith for the first time as a young adult felt purposeful to me. It made me stronger as a person. I had direction. I was useful within the life of a local church as a lay leader. The benefit far outweighed the cost. But then things changed.

I found the deeper I got with the Lord, the greater the challenge. After about 3 years of being a member of a church I began to sense a different calling – the call to serve as a pastor. I resisted for some time but eventually ran out of excuses and entered seminary. That was a huge faith step for me and my family. Then I was challenged to be open to a call anywhere in the church. Then to plant a church. Then to serve on a synod staff and churchwide staff. Then to serve as a senior pastor in a large metropolitan area.

The call to leave behind whatever I have, and trust the Lord for what I cannot see, has never stopped. Never. This morning I’m wondering what else the Lord will ask of me. What about you? How is the Lord asking you to follow, and leave behind what you know – and love?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, being your disciple is not easy. You call, we waiver. Instead of opportunity we experience fear of loss. Give us grace to trust you for what we cannot see. Amen.


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