January 11, 2021
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. Matthew 16: 24 NLT
Jesus didn’t put qualifiers on people who were invited to come to Him. Anyone and everyone is invited to follow Him into the great and satisfying life He promises. But neither are there any disclaimers to accepting the invitation. The path to the life He offers, the job description for a follower, is the same for every one of us.
- YOU must give up YOUR OWN WAY.
- Take up YOUR cross.
- Follow Me.
One of the reasons people typically don’t truly follow Jesus but are content to remain fans is because of the comparison game. On the one hand, we love to tout the fact that our relationship with Jesus is “personal,” but we have a difficult time walking our own walk without checking out how “just” or “fair” it is compared to others.
Jesus said that I must give up my own way. If I am going to be His follower, I can’t tie giving up my own way to what anyone else does. My tendency is to think, “Why me? Why do I have to give up my own way and she gets to have HER way, yet God seems to be blessing her?” I remember as a little girl on a trip to my grandparents’ “old Kentucky home” seeing a team of horses plowing in a field. They had blinders on the sides of their heads. When I wondered aloud about it, I was told that the blinders kept them from looking at the other horse and getting distracted. My uncle told me that racehorses who won big money usually had “blinkers” or blinders to keep them focused on their own race, not what was to their rear or side.
I have to give up MY own way and not worry about what anyone else is doing. Same with my cross. My cross is my business. God knows what cross belongs to me. I must take up MY cross and follow Him. No one else’s cross needs to be my concern. I don’t need to compare the difficulties and joys of my life with other people’s lives. When I follow Jesus He can be completely trusted. He will always lead me in a way that’s right for me.
- Pray: Jesus, thank You for being a personal Savior to me. I want to trust Your love and wisdom in my life. Help me focus on my life with You and not compare. Amen.