Compelling Persuasion

“If any want to become My followers, let them deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23)

Jesus isn’t exactly the greatest salesman on the planet. But neither is He trying to be.

Instead of dressing up Christianity to make it “look good,” He is open and honest right from the start about what is to be expected of His disciples.

Jesus does not pitch a “get-rich-quick” scheme or the “believer’s bliss” benefits package. Instead, He provides clear instructions on finding your personal Savior.

It almost seems as if Christ were trying to discourage people from following Him. This is only because He wants people to know what they’re getting themselves into; and to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

So as part of His pitch, Jesus predicts that His followers will be mocked, hated, insulted, attacked, tempted, tormented, battered, and bruised. (Mt. 5:11; 10:17,22)

He proports that anyone who loves their family more than their Savior is not worthy of a Savior (Mt. 10:37)

He points out that not following Him is easy; but that actually following Him is very far from easy, indeed! (Mt. 7:13-14)

But in fact it’s not hard to follow Jesus. It’s impossible.

Impossible to do on our own, that is. Living a life devoted to Jesus is only made possible by the Holy Spirit, and choosing to obey whatever He commands.

Because of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us, we are able to effectively deny ourselves (our wants and desires), take up our crosses daily (sacrificing time, money, and effort), and follow Christ (emulating Him in obedience to the will of the Father).

Living for Christ is no picnic – it is challenging, but is certainly well worth it.

Jesus provides hope for the future, help for the present, and healing from the past. He requires your utmost devotion and unrivaled loyalty.

He will not accept second-best: if Jesus is not Lord of all, He isn’t the Lord at all.

Praise God for His unfailing love, wisdom, and guidance. Know that His path is not one to be taken lightly. But this path, if endured, will provide an eternal flow of rewards and blessings.

Amen!

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