April 11 To Follow Jesus

Photo by Julie Ayers

Photo by Julie Ayers

Joshua 3:1-4:24;  Luke 14:7-35;  Psalm 80:1-19;  Proverbs 5:1-7:15

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.  And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

* * * * *

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?  For it he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

* * * * *

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king.  Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.  In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be by disciple.”

Luke 14:25-33

* * * * *

Jesus asks for the impossible.

Hate others to follow him?

Hate my own life to follow him?

Carry a cross, a death sentence

to follow him?

Give up everything that is precious

and dear,

of great worth to me

to follow him?

* * * * *

Jesus knows a bit about giving

up things dear to him–

Jesus, “who, although He existed in the form

of God, did not regard equality with God

a thing to be grasped,

but emptied Himself,

taking on the form of a bond-servant

and being made in the likeness of men.

And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient

to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

Therefore, God has highly exalted Him,

and bestowed on Him the name which

is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:6-11

* * * **

Because Jesus took up the cross to fulfill

his mission of redeeming mankind

we are now able through faith

to do the same,

to carry our cross

to the glory of our Lord

Jesus Christ!

Lord God, you call us to follow you and you provides the means to do so–our faith.  Thank you for this precious gift that fills our hearts with gratitude and with the desire to follow you no matter what the cost.  Thank you for enabling us through the power of Your Word and the Holy Spirit to say no to things of this world and to say yes to the things that mean the most to you–loving you and loving one another.  Praising you with Easter joy!  Amen.

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