Reading: Luke 9.1-62
Scripture: "If anyone wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, 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 are yourself lost or destroyed?" - Luke 9.23-25 (NLT)
Observations: In this chapter we see Jesus preparing his followers for the suffering that awaited him and for the sacrificial life that awaits those who carry the gospel of the kingdom of God. The chapter begins with the disciples being sent off to preach the kingdom of God and heal sick while taking nothing with them for the journey and the news that Herod, who beheaded John the Baptist, was now searching for Jesus. The chapter ends with disciples arguing about who would be the greatest, wanting to call fire down from heaven on the Samaritans, and Jesus describing the level of sacrifice his followers were expected to make. In other words, the disciples had a lot to learn.
Apply: I can’t help but compare Jesus’ call to selfless, cross-bearing, take-nothing-for-the-journey, no-place-to-lay-his-head discipleship with the follow-Jesus-and-you-can-have-it-all brand of Christianity. What Bible are those preachers reading! Sorry…I can’t help myself sometimes.
Prayer: Lord, I confess that I also want it all and Jesus too. Help me to hold loosely to the things of this life that do no last so that I may find deep meaning and true life. Forbid that I would gain the things that I cannot keep and end up losing what lasts forever.