Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Thought

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.”  Matthew 16:24

When confession is made that Christ is Lord and Savior, there is much more at stake that simply acknowledging the existence of Jesus.  It is not some magic spell that makes the stain and burden of sin go away.  It is the start of an amazing journey – but – a journey that must be endured.  It is a journey that requires we “follow” Jesus … in His “way”, His “truth”, and His “life”.  We are denying that natural impulse of self that realizes we need something more to make us complete, whole, “holy”.  And this all takes place when we are, by His grace, justified before the Lord God through Christ.  This is the sacramental nature of the Lord, to answer when we call upon Him and express our genuine need for Him in our lives.  We are forgiven the sins of our past (if we truly repent!).  Thus we are by His mercy alone made worthy to follow Him.

Beyond this, however, must be a willingness on our part to move beyond ourselves, to “deny” ourselves and our own desires, and continue the journey.  This is when we act intentionally and move purposefully to continue to follow Him, learn from Him, and emulate Him (“sanctification”).  It is a recognition that only the Lord can lead us where we need to go, a discerning of the difference between personal desire (what we want for ourselves) and divine need to reconnect to that Image in which we were created.  It is in a word, “discipleship”; taking up our own “cross”, denying our own pursuits, and following Him until the journey’s end.


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