“Jesus never tries to sugarcoat what He demands from us. Over and over again, He reveals that we cannot live in Him unless we are willing to surrender everything to Him.
We can’t really live until the old us is willing to die. In Luke 9, Jesus offers perhaps His most radical call of surrender. A huge crowd of people surrounds Jesus, yet He never plays to the audience.
Jesus does not offer His listeners some sort of weekend Christian experience, an escape from their problems, an anesthetic for their pain, nor fire insurance from hell. Jesus calls them to come and die to everything that competes with His reign and rule in their lives.
With ferocious compassion Jesus challenges, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Jesus was demanding that everyone who wanted to follow Him had to place Him first in their lives. To follow Christ was to wage an intense war against the selfish sinfulness in their own lives.
The challenge was given not just to those listening that day, but for everyone who wants to find their life in following Jesus. A decision to follow Jesus is a decision to die to our old self-determining, self-absorbed, self-pleasing ways. It’s to place Jesus first in our lives. His will, His way, His plan for our life.”
40 Days 2019 • Live Alive