01
Apr
14

Following Jesus

What does it take to be a follower of Jesus?  There are three key components according to Luke 9:23 (NIV).
  1. Deny yourself
  2. Take up your cross daily
  3. Follow Jesus

What does this mean?  It means that, on a daily basis, we must put Jesus first.  Even if it means we have to die for our faith (vs. 24), we must follow Jesus.  Verse 25 tells us that we must be careful not to trade the material things of this world for the eternal rewards of Heaven.  

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

​ – Luke 9:25 (NIV)​
This is a lifetime process that takes a long time to master.  One does not wake up and all of a sudden says, “I think I’ll start denying myself, taking up my cross and following Jesus today.”  This is hard stuff.  It takes work and effort.  It is a war fought one battle at a time.  These battles rage every day in our lives.  To deny yourself momentary pleasures for eternal rewards does not come easy.  We must keep our eyes on Jesus at all times.  My sermon from this past Sunday talked about how Peter began to sink into the water when he took his eyes off of Jesus.  Without Jesus, we’re sunk!  He is our only hope for eternal life!  He gave His life for us as the perfect human sacrifice to take away the sins of the world.  We must put our faith and trust in Him and learn to follow Him each and every day.  It is a lifelong struggle filled with battles won and battles lost.  But in the end, if we will remain faithful until death, Christ will come “in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26, NIV), and He will take us to be with Him forever and ever!  Hallelujah!  Amen!

Luke 9:21-27 (NIV)

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

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