Have you ever watched a friend or family member going through some kind of difficulty and know exactly how it is going to end because you have either been through it before personally, or that you have seen someone else go through it? Then you try to help them but they just won’t listen, and they just don’t get it. It can be a challenge to watch someone suffer when they really wouldn’t have to, when all they need to do is take a different path.
Image courtesy of: Leo P. Hidalgo (@yompyz)
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:27
Seeking God and His kingdom should be our number one priority. Jesus asked the people who he was mentoring for the highest level of commitment. He asked for everything. “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” – (Luke 14:33). By referencing carrying the cross, or bearing his own cross, you could say that he is asking them for their lives. Jesus makes this point again in the parable of the man who was giving a large banquet (Luke 14:15-24). Here Jesus warns them to not be lukewarm, and to make Jesus the number one priority. If we don’t, we will miss out on the kingdom of God – the Great Banquet. – “I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.” – (Luke 14:24). He doesn’t mix words here. Plain and simple, if we don’t seek the Lord with all of our heart, we will miss out on His riches and glory.
Jesus often used parables and metaphors to help others conceptualize God’s kingdom because He knew exactly what it was like. Like we try to help someone understand, Jesus was trying to help out his disciples. And you know, these difficult conversations are not easy. That is why they call them difficult, but if you love someone enough, you have to give it to them straight. I kind of relate it to something like, “Hey, if you jump off that bridge, you will die.” There is a time and a place for straight talk.
Jesus loves you so much that he gave His life for you on the cross. And He wants to hold you, protect you from harm, and bless you with all the riches according to his glory. God just wants you. How do we give ourselves to Christ? By surrendering ourselves to him, and spending time seeking the Lord. We do this through time in the Word. We do this through prayer. We do this through worship. We do this by surrounding ourselves with others who make it a priority to spend time with God and seek Him first and who want to be in His Holy Presence. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, letting Him guide us, and trying every day to be more like Him. To be more like him, we have to know who he is. And when we get to know Him, we can be more like Him.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. We seek you first each and every day so that we can know you more, and be more like you. Guide us in every thought, word, and deed today Lord. Help us to make right decisions today. Help us to honor you in all that we do. Fill our hearts full of your love and goodness. Let your Holy Spirit overflow in us. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Photo By Leo P. Hidalgo (@yompyz)