Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- April 2, 2011
“And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27
You follow Jesus because of His invitation and His worthiness. You follow Jesus because His way is the best way and because you are His disciples. You follow Jesus because there is none other who offers an abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven. You follow the Lord because He leads you toward His will. He is worth following because He can be trusted; He will never lead you astray. The Lord’s leadership is perfect, potent, and practical. Therefore, pursue Him as a faithful follower. Do not hold back one ounce of obedience and loyalty to your leader, Jesus Christ. Where He leads you, follow. Where He sends you, go. His path will be painful at times, but it is in your pain that He purifies. Follow Him and you will be forever grateful, for He does not disappoint.
Follow Him through your difficult days. Do not give in to the temptation to quit. Where else is there to go? This is the insightful question Peter posed out of frustration (John 6:68). It is in your adversity that you desire the Almighty. He is not occupied with a celestial distraction somewhere far away. He is still leading you through this valley of despair. Do not give up on Him, for He has not given up on you. He still lovingly leads even though your soul feels resistance. He will pull you through this present predicament. Use this time of challenge to strengthen your faith in Him. Stay behind Jesus, and depend on His wisdom and care. If He can handle the forces of hell, He can handle whatever circumstance is crushing your confidence.
Follow Him through the fog of fear. He is just ahead and can be trusted without reservation. Follow Him in your success. These good days may be for a season, so shower all the glory of God over your accomplishments. Progress and positive results are cause for celebration and praise to the Lord. Make sure everyone knows that you answer to a higher authority in Almighty God. He is the reason for your financial rewards and your accolades from impressed onlookers. Success is meant to inspire us to follow Him with even more abandon and humility. The momentum your Maker has given you is there to propel you ahead in faithfulness. Follow Him through this season of success so you will not be tempted to depend on self. Self- followers self-destruct. Jesus-followers, on the other hand, handle success with humility. Give God the glory during these good times. Leverage the Lord’s blessing for His Kingdom. Follow Him.
Lastly, follow Him and become fishers of men (Mark 1:17). Jesus is in the soul-saving business. So, as you follow the Lord you become very interested in His business. You take stock in saving souls because this is the industry of His Kingdom. His investments provide the greatest long-term return. You fish for men and women because your heavenly Father longs for their love and loyalty. You follow Him so others may follow Him. Follow Him so your family, friends, and foes may follow Him. Faithfully follow God, and you will inspire others to do the same. Disciples follow their wise and loving leader, Jesus.
Taken from the April 2nd reading in the 365-day devotional book, Seeking Daily the Heart of God
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