Posted By Nan

Luke 9:18-27
In this passage the disciples discuss with Jesus who He is. Peter says Jesus is the Christ and Jesus warns the disciples to tell no-one about this. He then tells them about the death He must suffer. He follows this with teaching on what following Him involves.
Those who choose to follow Jesus must take up their cross. Not just once. They must take it up daily. There is to be no dramatic picking up of the cross with a falling away as time and complacency set in. The cross is to be taken up daily. A decision to follow every day.
What does taking up your cross mean?
The Amplified Bible tells us we must disown ourselves, forget about self, lose sight of self and of our own interests. We must refuse and give up our selves. We must do this in order to hold fast to Jesus and conform completely to His example of living, even to the point of being prepared to die also.
These words are lovely and poetic but what do these words look like in our daily lives?
The Message interprets the words as letting Jesus lead. Embracing suffering. Looking to Jesus for help rather than helping ourselves. We need to practice self-sacrifice. In this modern age of ME and putting ME first, while desperately seeking spiritual connections in life, it is good to note that Jesus tells us that self-sacrifice is the way to find your true self. Forget all the pilgrimages and travels to exotic places in search of true self. You will find true self bowing at the foot of the throne in self sacrifice. We all want things in life, and the modern world tells us we can have what we want. But this is not the way to follow Jesus and it is not the way to find the real you. The real you only exists following Jesus.
This does not mean you are to be a door mat to all other people. Jesus was certainly no door mat and He does not expect you to be one. It does not mean you should allow others to invade your boundaries and treat you badly. It means you need to defer to Jesus. If He tells you to step back from an activity, you are to do that. If He tells you to step out in faith then you are to do that. You are not to worry about the cost. He will deal with that. You are not to be hesitant to profess your faith if He calls you do that.
You will not get it right all the time and Jesus knows that. He will wait for you and welcome you back when you return, humbled by your sin, begging forgiveness. Following Jesus will give you such freedom and peace. Never let anyone tell you the life following Jesus is boring and restricted. Those people, living in the shadow of death, with their narrow, restricted lives, have eyes that are blind to true freedom.
Do your best to put Jesus first and self last. Endeavour to do as He instructs you to do. If you find it hard to obey because that is daunting, ask Him for help to do as He asks. Step out in the true freedom of following Jesus.

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