PASTOR'S BLOG / Ultimate Issues for Disciples of Jesus from Luke 9:23,24

Ultimate Issues for Disciples of Jesus from Luke 9:23,24

            Carpe Diem is Latin for seize the day!

Discipleship can sound like a foreign language.  Denying oneself, taking up a daily cross and losing our life for the glory of another can pass right through us like gibberish, without getting any traction in our action!  It takes some thoughtful reflection to let it sink in, so that we can wrap our minds around its truth and let it get into our hearts, words, and deeds. 

Perhaps that is why it is said to be of ‘daily’ importance- we are leaky vessels, easily led astray, and in need of constant filling with the truth.

There has been significant misapplication of these truths over generations, so let’s be sure we know what Jesus means in Luke 9:23, 24 (NLT):

            Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

         There are three ultimate ideas Jesus expressed here, all related to each other, with clarifying statements surrounding them; 1) turn from your selfish ways or deny yourself, 2) take up your cross daily, and 3) follow me.  If we wanted to summarize them into one overarching statement we may say something like, ‘Discipleship to Jesus is a daily total sacrifice of ourselves in order to do the will of God.’ 

Or if we wanted to quote a Bible passage to state the main idea, we could look to Romans 12:1 which says, ‘And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.’

The ultimate issues being given to us by Jesus for daily visitation are these, 1) Deny yourself- you are not the god of your own life, 2) take up your cross- you have died and your life is not your own, it belongs to another Master, and 3) follow me- you are not in the lead of your life, you are following a Leader.  Let’s take a moment to say them in the simplest way possible in order to commit them to our hearts and memories: ‘I am not god of my Life, Jesus is.’  ‘I have died and I now live for Jesus.’  And lastly, ‘I am an active follower of Jesus.’

All of this means that there are three daily questions I will need to answer in order to be an active apprentice of Jesus Messiah, ‘Who is my power?’  ‘What is my purpose?’ And, ‘What is my plan?’  For followers of Jesus these will be answered in conversation with our Master.  My power, the One with the ultimate authority of my life is Almighty God, my purpose is to know and do His will, and I do this by placing my feet where He leads me. 

Every day is a learning experience in this direction.  Every day is an opportunity to hear from God.  Every day is a day to advance His will, His fame, and His glory through my life.  Every day is a Heavenly adventure with Jesus as my Captain.  Every day is a day to, well, Carpe Diem!

 

GeoSigThumbGeorge Hulse

Lead Pastor