The Cost of Following Jesus – Part II
Key Verse: Luke 9:23
“…If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Additional Reading: Luke 9:21-27
Continuing from yesterday’s devotion, there is a third step to examine in taking up your own cross to follow Jesus. It must be a daily effort!
Jesus knew human beings better than anyone else. He knew that we can start things easily but often find it hard to finish things!
We must understand that doing life the way Jesus wants us to includes doing the tough things each day. In other words, we who want to be followers of Jesus must develop good habits, not just drop the bad habits we have picked up. These good habits have been clearly outlined in the scriptures and preached from pulpits around the world for many decades.
However, most pastors probably agree that people in their congregations still struggle to make them a daily routine in their lives. This is not a strange thing or only a religious concept. We all see it in everyday life.
Every gym owner knows that in January and February, they will see a great increase in their memberships. But in just a few months, this increase disappears due to lack of discipline by their new enrollees.
Romans 12:2 reminds us to “not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”. Let’s not be like the world that starts something good and then drops it because of a lack of discipline.
Here is one of the most important habits to develop to be a follower of Jesus Christ: daily prayer. Romans 12:12 reads, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”.
As you look back on the last 30 days, have you been faithful in prayer? I might add, have your prayers been more about getting stuff from God rather than knowing God better?
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, they were taught how to know God better and ask for help from God. Both are part of effective praying. Read over what we now call the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Think about each phrase. What does each phrase tell us about what is included in an effective prayer? Use your findings to guide you each day as you pray!
Another important discipline is reading the Bible daily.
The Apostle Paul wrote young Timothy (whom he was mentoring) these words: “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught” (2 Timothy:14) and “You have been taught the Holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy:16). First Peter 2:2 tells us to long for scriptures like babies long for milk.
Let’s put these two disciplines of prayer and Bible reading into our daily life!
Father, remind me, every day, to seek you in prayer and the Scriptures! In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.