20140407-101446.jpg

23 Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23, NRSV)

Notice, please, because it took me forty-one years to notice, that it does not say, “My disciples should demonstrate that they know more of my words than their fellows by drumming them into each other with judgmental condescension.” Neither does it say, “Make your light so shine that all others may be blinded by the brilliance of it and ashamed of their own flickering glimmer.” God is not interested in the pride of man masquerading as discipleship. That is self-righteousness, which is not righteousness at all, but only selfishness. Jesus’ instruction was to deny selfish desires and motives, even that of self-preservation, in preference for following His lead.

May I say that again?
Jesus’ instruction was to deny selfish desires and motives, even that of self-preservation, in preference for following His lead.

If Jesus instructs that concerning losing life and gaining it, what do you think He means about appetites, cravings, lusts, physical or material desires? If we are to deny ourselves even to the point of taking up our cross, our guillotine, our firing squad, our noose, our electric chair, our lethal injection, then why do we feel so smugly content to pick up our addictive substance of choice just because we want it? It’s not a good time to quit. I’ve got a lot going on this weekend. I just can’t live without it today. Whatever! We are instructed to put Self in its place and nail it on its crossbeams.

It doesn’t matter what you want, Self! I’m following Jesus today!

Dear Father, today, I seek Your strength in hammering the nails into my self-will. Deliver me from the slavery of self-service, so I can be fully occupied with Your service. I cannot serve both You and Self. Help me take up my cross and follow You, not for my glory but Yours.

Advertisements