"And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23
Based on some conversations I had last night with some family members I came back to a fundamental question of "why be a disciple of Jesus Christ?"
Why not be a disciple of Karl Marx or Moa Tse-Tung or Saul Alinsky? Or, why be a disciple at all? Why not just do what seems right to me?
I believe Jesus provides some solid answers to that vitally important question in this challenge to those who had been following. Will you consider those with me?
Everyone has to decide who or what they will follow. And everyone does follow something. It is impossible not to. If life matters to you then how you spend it should matter to you.
It matters to Jesus!
Everyone must make decisions. It is unavoidable! Even the decision to avoid deciding is a decision!
Jesus says, "If any man will come after me...."
What Jesus is saying is, "You guys need to decide if you are going to follow me or not." Nothing pushy about that. Nothing threatening, just a call to be intentional and deliberate about their decision. He left it up to them what to decide but they must decide.
You must decide. I must decide. We must be intentional about how we decide and be responsible for what we decide. Decisions have consequences and those should be weighed before making the decision. So, since decisions are important and inevitable decide wisely. Decide intentionally.
For me, that decision was to follow Christ. He is the only One Who has been to Heaven and to earth and even, hell. So if you are looking for someone to follow Who know the way, I'd recommend Him. He IS the way!
Which decision has the greatest potential for your life on earth and for eternity? If you decide to follow Marx, where will that take you? What about a decision to follow Moa or the Alinsky way? Where will lead your life and your soul?
Secondly, Jesus says everyone must devote to something.
".....let him deny himself........"
Deciding to follow someone necessarily excludes following anyone else. Or, everyone else. That is what it means to devote yourself. A disciple of Jesus devotes himself to Jesus.
How will devoting your life to Jesus enrich, enable or enlarge my life? How will it add value to your life? What will it do for your eternity? How will it impact those you love? Those are key questions to consider before you devote to someone or something.
To be fair, you must weigh the benefits of devoting yourself to Jesus as opposed to devoting your life to a demanding doctrine such a that promoted by Marx or Moa or even, Alinsky. Which has the greatest potential for your future development through time and eternity? Which will be maximize your life?
If you decide but you do not devote, your decision doesn't mean much.
The result of deciding and devoting results in a direction!
".......and follow me."
Once you have decided to follow Jesus and become a devoted follower, there is only one direction that is appropriate - the way of righteousness and holiness, the way of the cross, walking with Jesus.
When you find one who has decided to follow Jesus and who has devoted his life to Jesus and is clear and confident in his direction, you will know why it pays to follow Jesus.
Have you made a decision to follow Him?
Everyone follows someone somewhere. Decide carefull because your decision determines your destination!
Are you wholly devoted to Him? You can only devote yourself to one person or one philosophy. If you devote yourself to more than one thing, you devote yourself to nothing. Devote yourself to that which best shapes your life and your future.
Do you have a clear direction? Where will that direction lead you? Will you end up in a good place if you decide and devote to this direction? It this the best possible direction you can follow? Where have others ended who chose this direction?