Matthew 16:24-27 NLT – 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.  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.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?  For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.”
When Jesus called His first followers He simply said, “Come, follow Me” (Mark 1:17-18). It was a few simple words, but a big call to leave everything behind to commit to a new way of life. History tells us that those fishermen did answer the call and left everything behind.
In the above passage Jesus offers the same call to His followers today. But He adds to be a true follower we have to give up our own way and take on His way and His direction. To be a true follower of Jesus we give up our worldly hopes, dreams, plans and wisdom and take on His goals, plans and dreams for us. We need to take up our cross and follow Him.
I believe this is about changing kingdoms – from the worldly kingdom and it’s ways to God’s Kingdom and His eternal ways. It also means not being king or ruler of our own lives and handing complete and total control to Jesus. We need to accept His Lordship.
I know from my own experience it is easier to accept Jesus as our Saviour, than our Lord. To accept that He died on the cross for our sins and to accept Him as the only way to salvation happens when we understand who He is and what He has done. But Lordship is another matter. Giving up control of our lives is much harder.
The passage above tells us that if we do give up our lives for Jesus and service in His Kingdom, we actually find true life. We find true life because this is how it is meant to be. God made us all for His purpose. We all have a divine call, purpose and destiny. When we come in to line with this, we find our true place in this world and in God’s Kingdom.
How about you? Have you accepted Jesus as your saviour? Have you handed your life over to Him to be Your Lord? It is my hope and prayer that you have done both.
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You that You died on the cross for my sin. Right now I confess all the wrong things I have done in my life and ask for Your forgiveness. I accept You as my Saviour. Jesus, I also want to accept You as my Lord. I want You to be the ruler of my life. I lay down my life to You. Please use me in the way You created me to be. Please use me for Your Kingdom purposes. Help me to take up my cross each day and truly follow You. I ask this in Your name, Amen.