In Luke 9:23 Jesus gives us a preview of what it means to follow Him. “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and pick up his cross daily and follow me”.
Although taking up your cross involves denying self, the main focus is about following Christ. The cross or burden we carry has to do with the choices we make with our will, the responses we have in our actions, and the attitude we carry in our hearts.
Our cross means that we are putting to death every decision, every response, and every attitude in our life that is not consistent with the love of Jesus Christ.
Life could be muchmore interesting than it is, ifwe would yieldthe Master’s callandallow God to chart a courseanddirect our steps. It is well documented in Biblical historythatthosewhohadsurrenderedcontrol to God livedmoreprosperousandmeaningfullives than thosewhodid not. Evenso, most of us scoff at theidea, becausewelike to takeallthegloryfor our achievements. We are like theleader of thepride–thethought of giving up controlorsharingpowermakes us nervous.
So, even after wehaveconfessed our sinsandpromised to follow Jesus, westillhesitate to give Him totalcontrol. It is onlywhen our backs are up against a wallthatweentertainanyidea to give up control, butonlytemporary. Therefore, as soon as wehavecrossedthe Red sea orthe Jordan, orsurvivethestormwe are back to business as usual–rebelliousand disobedient..
Giving God control of your lifemeansyou are part of a team. Godnowbecomesteamleaderanddirector; youbecome a follower. Unfortunately, this is wheretheproblem begins. Mostpeopledo not see themselves as followers. Theythinkit is demeaning. In one of the most tightly contested presidential primary, a Journalist suggested that one of the candidates settle for running mate. The candidate replied with this: “You will never see me running for vice president”.
My friends, you can restassure; there is nothing demeaning about following God and surrender totalcontrol to Him. Theprophetsandthe Patriarchs andtheapostlesdid, and after more than 2000 yearswe are stilltalking about them.
Still, like itor not, God is already in charge, but He refuses to act until youask Him to. The Psalmist David in one of his dialogueswritesthefollowing: “O tasteandseethattheLORD is good: blessed is themanthattrusted in him”– Psalm 34:8.
King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church.He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison
The night before Peter was to be placed on trial; he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
So Peter left the cell, after the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day-to-day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people. Psalm 96:1-3
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1-5)..
Happy New Year, everybody! Let us strive to walk in Jesus’ footsteps throughout the new year and beyond.
In addition, yours truly would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends for supporting this blog. Your likes and comments mean a lot to me. Thank you, thank you. To God be the glory.