Our verse for today comes from Luke 9:23, “And He said to all, ‘if anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’”
Recently I read in a book an extremely convicting question. The author was talking about being effective for God right where you are, and he asked what my church would look like if everyone there was as committed as I was? How powerful and healthy would the church be if everyone prayed and gave and served like I did? Or, would it be weak and listless? Another way to think about it would be to ask yourself what your life would be like if Jesus sought you the way you seek Him? What if He showed the same amount of love and commitment and sacrifice that we pour out for Him? For many of us, we’re not conjuring up a very pretty picture, are we? It kind of stings to realize that we spend most of our day doing things and getting by without spending perhaps more than a few minutes with our Maker. It really feels like a load if we consider the entire body of Christ walking only as close to God as we do. But God doesn’t remind us of how neglectful we are so as to guilt us into being with Him for a certain amount of time each day. That would be no better than having a regular time with God that’s just a part of your scheduled day, like reading the paper or eating lunch at noon every day. He doesn’t want us just to be able to check Him off the list like He was another chore to do. No, He reminds us so that we can fully experience the relationship with Him that He wants to have with us. He took up His cross daily so He could take our sins to the cross that day, restoring our fellowship with Him.
So, try and imagine the kind of relationship we can have with a God who made us just to have a relationship with Him. That’s a picture that we all should want to see, a picture of a healthy, powerful body of Christ.
As we seek Him today, thank God that He sought us first. Thank Him for being right where we are, no matter where we are or when we’re there. Commit to a relationship that grows closer to Him each day.