To Stay Sharp, Let God Have His Way; And Live For Jesus Everyday
John 14:15; Proverbs 23:26; Deuteronomy 5:29; Luke 9:23-26
There is no grace in performance. We will never be able to perform enough good works to receive God’s love before we were saved or after we are saved (Romans 4:5). But IF we love Jesus we can express it by obeying His Commands (John 14:15).
A key danger of performance Christianity is a failure to nurture our inner self; we are always on. Part of this is due to the fear others would perceive us as ashamed to bear the cross or the bragging rights of how much we deny ourselves. This leads to measuring our spirituality by success, time on site, program participation, the praise of men, and, of course, prosperity and cash.
There is another side in Jesus statement to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Him. To take up our cross carries with it the idea at some point we lay our cross down.
Why do we lay our cross down? Since the way of Jesus is the way of suffering, shame and even death, it requires renewal of commitment daily. To deny ourselves is not just about giving up things, it is about relinquishing personal control of our lives to God. To take up our cross is a considered daily choice to face rejection and even death. Consider the Coptic Christians recently slaughtered. To follow Jesus is to join the disciples world wide in fulfilling the great commission.
What do we do in the downtime? We approach our Strength (Psalm 59:17) asking for guidance as we consider our choice. Some of the questions we might ask are: Who is in control? In what ways have I experienced the heavy burden of trying to remain in control of my life? Which areas of my life am I reluctant to surrender to God?
We remember what Jesus said, “Simply put, if you are not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple” (Luke 14:26MSG).
Will you join me taking up your cross as I take up mine today?
I’ll Stay Sharp, I’ll Express My Love By Obeying Jesus Everyday As I Live The Way
Think About This: Only the Gospel goes deep enough to effect real hard change. Everything else is just behavior modification. —Jared Wilson
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8