DAILY DEVOTION, Sept. 27, 2021
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (Mark 8:34).
There are two phases to the Christian life. Phase one is to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and our Savior. Salvation is a gift we receive by faith. Once we have entered the Kingdom of God by trusting in Jesus, phase two begins. We become disciples of Jesus. This is the difficult part of the Christian life. Receiving a gift is easy once we know that a gift is being offered.
Discipleship can be a challenge. Jesus does not soft-pedal what it means to be a disciple. It calls for self-denial even to the point of death. We like the free gift idea, but we are not so enthusiastic about self-denial! We all struggle to follow Jesus faithfully. However, true Christians try. When I see a person who says, “I believe” but makes little or no effort to follow Jesus, I wonder if his faith is genuine.
Discipleship can be a rough path. It was rough for Jesus, for Paul, and all the disciples. There are, however, beautiful blessings that come to those who are truly seeking to live as faithful disciples. The happiest people I know are those who are living as faithful (not perfect) disciples.
Father God, I want to be faithful to Jesus. I want to follow Him. Therefore, please forgive me when I stumble and guide me on the right path. I want to follow His leading daily. Amen.