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Jesus is challenging me. This is tough.

Am I willing to give up everything, including my life for King Jesus? Am I?

Jesus is clear. Jesus is really clear.

Am I ready to go the cross?

Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God.

Jesus | Luke 9:23-27

Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus. This is called “dying to self.” It’s a call to absolute surrender. After each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25 – ESV). Although the call is tough, the reward is matchless.

This is the essential issue we all face when we encounter Jesus.

  • Jesus spoke repeatedly to His disciples about taking up their cross (an instrument of death) and following Him. He made it clear that if any would follow Him, they must deny themselves, which means giving up their lives — spiritually, symbolically, and even physically, if necessary.
  • This was a prerequisite for being a follower of the Messiah, who proclaimed that trying to save our earthly lives would result in our losing our lives in the kingdom. But those who would give up their lives for His sake would find eternal life (Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35). Indeed, Jesus even went so far as to say that those who are unwilling to sacrifice their lives for Him cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:27).
  • Again, am I ready? Will I do that today?

The flip side of this the promise, if I lose my life, I will find it in obedience to Jesus. Jesus is life. In Jesus, I have abundant and mature life. Now that is some good news.