Each morning, as I read, I try to find a way to relate the scripture to something people can identify with. This morning, the subject is complete and total commitment. Now, normally, I would be sharing a funny story, maybe a heartfelt one of total commitment, but as I began to think of examples, I realized, there is nothing that people as a whole are completely and totally committed to.
Not something serious, anyways. I mean, we are so finicky that even the brand of toothpaste we once used can be replaced by the better or “other” brand.
New! Improved! Longer-lasting! Best ever!
You hear it all the time, and we’re sucked in to believing that nothing is worth our total dedication. The only thing that comes close is marriage, and sadly, even that doesn’t have a universal commitment.
But I think that’s exactly the point this morning.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Jesus knew our hearts and our lack of commitment. He’s speaking here to His disciples, the ones who have left everything to follow Him. But He reminds them that to follow Him means more than just saying they will follow Him, or even coming along with Him for a while.
It means complete and total commitment.
He knew we would struggle with what that might mean. And He gave us insight into what it means to be His disciple, to be a Christian.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)
The disciples had to decide if they were willing to give their lives for the sake of the gospel. They had to decide if they would carry the cross, a symbol of death.
Just this morning I read a friend’s post.
“The Gospel as we often interpret it: ‘You just need to ask Jesus into your heart.’
The Gospel as we hear it from Jesus: ‘If you’re not willing to forsake everything and follow me you are not worthy of me.’
Perhaps many of us need to rethink what it means to be a true follower of the Savior. True following is costly.” – Shawn Hammontree
Do you believe in God? Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that He died for your sins on the cross? Do you believe He was buried and 3 days later, rose from the grave? Do you believe He is coming again? Do you believe the Word of God?
Are you willing to die for that belief? Are you willing to suffer persecution and torture at the hands of men for the sake of the gospel?
Are we really true followers of Christ? Is there complete and total commitment? Have you surrendered your life to Him?
Jesus warned us what it would take to follow Him, are you sure you are willing?
Take up thy cross and follow me.