Want to be a disciple of Jesus?

Know this – that the offer is to everyone – no one is excluded.

You and I know that regardless of how that choice is made – everyone makes a choice. One of God‘s mysteries to me is the free will of a human being – a truly powerful element – a person must choose.  God does not force us to do anything. He invites us, and He gently calls us. But we must make a choice.

Why Jesus?

When Jesus came to the earth, in a certain sense He gave up His divine prerogatives. He lived the way every human being should live: loving God, doing the will of God, and being led by the Holy Spirit in everything that He said and did.  Now we can make the decision to follow in His footsteps.

Let’s look at some steps required in order to follow in those footsteps:

1.  We alluded to it earlier, but there needs to be a denial of yourself in this journey.

The only thing that can keep you following Christ is yourself.  The worse thing you can do is to go your own way instead of God’s way. In order to follow Christ, you must deny yourself. You must consciously and willing and freely say, “I am not going to go my own way or do my own will. Instead I am going God’s way.”

The way that we have been called to follow is a great challenge. I call it life’s greatest adventure.  It’s the greatest challenge in the world. We have heaven to look forward to, but until we get there it will not always be an easy road, but it will be an amazing journey.

2.  There will be a cross to bear.

Part of the challenge of following Christ in this world is the cross that He will give you to bear. He bore a cross. He was nailed to His cross and He died there on the hill of Golgotha. The cross that Jesus bore was the shameful and tortuous Roman cross. Each of us also have a cross to bear. What is a cross? It’s something that you suffer, that you only suffer, because you went God’s way instead of your own way. Some people miss God’s will because they try to avoid the cross that was given to them. It will be a temptation to try to get rid of the cross that you were called to bear.

There are tricks in the trade that you need to work with in order to survive this adventure.  You need to take each day, one day at a time, and not worry too much about tomorrow.  Someone might consider their own cross and how heavy it can sometimes be, and then think that there is no way that they could ever bear such a cross for ten or twenty more years. But remember that Jesus said to take up his cross daily. Take it one day at a time. That’s all you have to do. You just have to get through one day successfully. It you can do it today; then you can do it tomorrow also.

From a human standpoint sometimes it appears as though a cross is a very unpleasant thing. It sounds negative, does it not? A cross speaks of suffering, and difficulty, and trial, and burdens to bear. But we must never forget that there was a positive outcome as a result of the cross.  Jesus had His cross, and because of the old rugged cross of Jesus, we have the hope of heaven and the forgiveness of sins and the opportunity to live for God in this world. Things are not as they appear, and they are not going to work out the way that you think they will.

3. Get ready to follow

The reason that we were put on this earth is to know and serve God and to do His will. There is no such thing as finding the will of God for your life some day and then doing that thing for the rest of your life. God’s will is unfolded to you day by day. You find out God’s will one day at a time. You can also miss His will one day at a time. For every day that you do not deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him, you will miss God’s will. You will lose opportunity and reward.

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