And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself (disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, and refuse and give up himself) and take up his cross daily and follow Me (cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also.) Because whoever is ashamed of Me and of My teachings, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in the glory of Himself and of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23,26
“I am a Christian” was and is still a popular statement. But what does that really mean? In the Gospels, when Jesus called His disciples, He said “follow Me” (come after me). Do we live the mediocre Christian life, or are we Followers? He calls us to lay down our lives, our desires, our “self” and take up our cross and follow Him. It is not easy to carry a cross. We die to ungodly thoughts, we die to the “little white lies” or half truths that we chose to tell, we die to the “rights of me”, we die to the bad attitudes when we don’t want to do something. We follow the actions of Jesus when we are followers….His boldness, His love (in all things), His sacrifice of self, His turning the other cheek, all things good, because He is a good, good Father. We can’t just say we are a Christian, or a Follower. We must live it daily, taking up our cross, our flesh, our self. I love to hear people say they are a Christian, but when something doesn’t go their way, they unleash “Self”…because after all, they have the right, right? Jesus sacrificed himself, was brutally beaten and murdered, suffering silently, and He never did anything wrong. He didn’t deserve it. He had a right, but He was silent. If I’m going to follow Him, my only purpose here is to do His will (taking up my cross daily), talk and walk like Him. When people interact with you, who do they see…You or Jesus?