Do you call yourself a follower of Jesus?
I want to follow Jesus. I want to live every day for him. But I am a sinner, and it can feel like I fail more times than I succeed in following Jesus. Sometimes the path he leads me on is overwhelming, and I sink beneath the waves as I doubt in his ability to provide for me. Sometimes I see clearly the way he wants me to walk, but I reject him and choose what I think will be an easier path.
But sometimes, I walk with Jesus, following where he leads. In these times, I experience the incredible joy that comes from being his disciple.
I want to cling to Jesus with everything. I want to learn that the cost of following Jesus is nothing compared to the abundant life that I can have if I really give him everything I am.
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62 ESV)
Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go, except to…
Jesus, I will give you everything, but please don’t take…
Jesus, I will live for you, on these conditions…
What are your excuses?
In Jesus’ time, burying dead relatives was an incredibly important family obligation. But Jesus says that those obligations do not even come close to the requirements of discipleship.
The world says that I should do what I want; that I should follow my feelings, my emotions, my impulses, my flesh.
But Jesus says this:
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23 ESV)
His promise is abundant life. His promise is life to the full.
So I will learn from Jesus, the humble King who walked up a hill knowing that it would lead to his death, even carrying his own cross. When his death was approaching he did not turn back or refuse to follow the path his Father had set for him, instead, he set his face like flint on the mission ahead. “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51 ESV)
Jesus, help me to set my face like flint toward the place you have prepared for me. Help me to keep my eyes on heaven while my feet are walking where you lead me. I will follow you wherever you go, remembering that my cross is so much lighter than the one you carried for me, and knowing that the cost of discipleship is nothing compared to abundant life with you.