Commitment to Christ
Mark 8:34 - And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Jesus rightly makes demands from you and I, he tells us to bear our cross. In other words, being a Christian doesn't mean we just believe in Jesus, or make claims of our love for him. Of course, these are important and primary, but those who love him will also serve him. Not to gain a place in eternity with him, but out of gratitude for what he has done for us. Forgiving our sins and granting us eternal life.
Service to Jesus does not happen by accident it's an intentional act of love by you prompted and empowered by the Holy Spirit. More often than not serving Jesus means denying yourself and putting the needs of others before your own.
Many things make a fruitful disciple of Jesus, but let me list three which I believe are fundamental for a fulfilled life in Jesus Christ.
- You must know and love Jesus
You are not going to serve somebody you do not know, love and admire. If you are reading this post and think it's nonsensical I would refer you to read this, and pray Gods blessing upon you.
- You must deny yourself and take up your cross
When I became a software engineer it didn't happen overnight. I read books, studied and wrote computer programs at home to practice. I had to deny myself from taking the easy option of a few hours of T.V most evenings for several years. It took dedication. These lessons apply well to following Jesus. You have to be intentional in your study of the bible, time in prayer and action of loving God and others. Otherwise, it won't happen!
- Follow Jesus
Following Jesus means going where he goes! It's inescapable that the bible teaches that there is no place that Jesus was not willing to go, and no person too sinful he would not talk to them. Which puts us into the same places. Into dark places where people who are lost and without hope live. This could be your next-door neighbours house, the local town or the remotest mountains of South America. Whether it's five meters or five thousand miles away there is always an opportunity to follow Jesus.
Will you deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus?
Daily Bible Reading: Mark 8:31-38
Prayer: Father we confess we have not with any consistency taken up our own cross and followed your Son. We pray that we would all at Staines Baptist deny ourselves, take up a cross and follow Jesus. Father, through the Holy Spirit please show us and convict us which acts of sacrificial service we should walk in. Father discipline us all to die to selfishness. Turn us Lord to follow and serve Jesus, the lost, and also each other. Amen.