Luke 9:23–27 (ESV)
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit
a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly,
there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
We live in a Jerry Springer world where everything revolves around me, me, me! You ever watched Jerry
Springer? I’m certainly not endorsing it, however... you wonder where these people come from that are on the show. Well, they come from all over. One thing they almost all have in common is when they try to explain their bizarre behavior,
they often say “Well, what about me!” Jesus is saying today “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” As Christians, we’re not living for ourselves, but for
Christ. We are to accept the burdens of being an imitator of Christ. The Augsburg Confession states: “Let him bear whatever trouble he has; so let him follow Me. For when he shall begin to follow Me in conformity to My life and precepts, he will
have many to contradict him … and that from among those who are even as it were Christ’s companions.” This is not something we do in private or hidden from view... we are not ashamed of Jesus or his Gospel. We live as a witness to
the world... for all to see. Reread today’s passage and see where the “what about me?” fits in to today’s reading. It doesn’t! It’s about Christ. In order to be saved, you must be willing to give
up your life. This is because you are now a new creation. You are not living for yourself, but you are living for God. You are not living to please the world, but you’re to please God. You are not living according to your will,
but God’s will. You become less, God becomes more. This is not what saves you, that is faith alone. But this is part of our sanctification, that is... our daily growth in Christ. It’s part of living as a new creation.
I pray: O Lord, it seems to me that when I sin, I’m putting myself first... over and against your ways. I’m sorry and repent when I do it my way, making myself God instead of living for you.
Help me in my daily walk to put you first, and to live for Christ. Help me to pray the Lord’s Prayer and mean it when I pray “Thy will be done.” Help me to become less and you to become more in my life. Amen.