I was reading a book about missions. Both world and local mission, evangelism was also discussed at length. While I did not agree with all of the authors’ conclusions, there was a section that caused me to pause for prayer and reflection. The author quoted several Bible verses, I have included three of them:
Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Do you find these verses convicting? I do! When was last time you were with a group of believers and everything discussed was within the context of what matters in everything is Jesus! Is it all about Jesus? It is supposed to be but is it the reality in our daily lives? The key verse for the gospel of Luke is found in 19:10. In this passage, Luke describes the reason for Christs coming: to reach lost people! How much concern do we have for these same people Jesus came seeking? Jesus told the disciples that to follow Him was not to live a life of ease but rather one of cross-bearing. Jesus’ message of denial is so counter-cultural that is seems strange or peculiar to our twenty-first-century ears. Cross-bearing, denial, Jesus don’t you understand if we don’t stand up for ourselves people will take advantage of us? We must win. We must make sure that someone looks out for our interests.
The best way to live today is not to mimic and imitate the world, but to imitate Jesus. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? It means to be growing into Christlikeness. I must ask the question: what does being like Christ at home, school, work and in the neighborhood look like, how is it modeled? To be a disciple means I am open to His leading in all areas of my life. As followers of Christ, this must be the goal personally, and in every area of our lives. In a world where compartmentalizing seems to make sense, being like Jesus in everything will seem strange to people. At this point, we need to remember the words of Jesus: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” This verse anchors us in Christian reality. It is all about Christ and His gospel, and it is not about what I like, or what I want. Together let’s pick up our cross, deny ourselves and Follow Him!