Lord, I will FOLLOW you. That is my prayer and my “One Word” for 2014.
Matthew 16:24 – Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.”
There’s a couple of steps before committing to following Christ – denying yourself and taking up your cross. What the flying-Fig Newtons does that mean?
Deny Yourself – “Sacrifice is being willing to give up something good for something better.” There are a lot of something goods that can apply here… You can leave a job that pays well but you’re miserable at for a job that doesn’t pay great, but is rewarding, is aligned with your purpose or in the Christian world, puts you on mission with God. Or you may cut out the amount of time you spend on a hobby if you want to invest your time more wisely on something else – Bible reading, serving, exercising… Or maybe you need to give up Oreos so you can attempt to fit into those jeans in your closet. Some of those may or may not be on my list :). In our world (The Grubbie’s World) we are in the midst of purging some things from our life/lifestyle, giving up some things we really enjoy and are comfortable with, some good things… for something better. No, no big announcement here yet (and at this point it will be rather anti-climatic when it does come, ha!) but big changes are on the horizon for the Grubbies. Changes that involve giving up some good things for something better. Is there anything better than our God, the Lord Jesus Christ and serving Him? Romans 12:1 tells us to “present your bodies” or “present yourself as a living sacrifice”. In how we live (holiness) in what we do (serving) that our lives submitted to God is an act of worship. Any amount of denying is minute compared to how Jesus denied Himself for us.
Take Up Your Cross – “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27 Thems fightin’ words. #RealTalk. In John 19:17, Jesus carried His own cross as an example. It is not going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be the HARDEST THING in this world. Excruciating. Strength sapping. Blister bursting. Thorn in the flesh – on steroids. In our ministry tenure, we have experienced a fraction of this, but not anywhere close to the extent that Jesus did or what Paul experienced – or even people who are truly persecuted in our world today. And yet, at times I cried, complained, gave up, even swore. (*gasp!) Whether it’s daily (as Luke 9:23 adds to the mix) or for a season or for a lifetime – committing to taking up your cross can be the most difficult to do – but the most worth it – see here, here, and here.
And Follow Me: One foot in front of the other. No, we don’t have to have everything figured out (talking to myself… gahhhhhh) because we “walk by FAITH and not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7 – a reminder I need so much it’s on my bedroom wall in “stickers”. Just a prayer in the morning, “Lord, I will follow You. Help me to follow You today.” And at noon. And 2:15. And 3:00. And at dinner…
Because I don’t freaking know what this year holds (do any of us???) – it is my prayer that I will choose daily to follow Jesus – His Word and His Leading, by faith and for His glory.
Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” Mark 10:21
“Follow Me!” – Jesus Mark 1:17
Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34