While Jesus walked the earth, He said some things His own disciples couldn’t understand. The most notable example of their misunderstanding had to be when He told them He would die and rise again. No matter how often He said it, they didn’t get it until they actually went through the experience. We’re not much different from those twelve. We read the same passages of Scripture over and over but don’t get it until we actually have the experience. So as we read Luke 14:26-27, we may be stumped by what Jesus means when He says one should “hate… his own life” and “bear his [own] cross” or one “cannot be My disciple.”
Here’s the lowdown. If we start with the basic understanding that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, the risen Savior, our comprehension of the Luke passage becomes clear. The God of the universe has the right to run said universe as He pleases. Therefore, He can also tell us how to best operate in His created space as His created beings.
Our role in responding to God in Christ starts with a two-fold reaction. First, hating ourselves has nothing to do with operating in low self-esteem. Jesus is talking about giving deference to His wants and desires over our own. We will only qualify as disciples if we will do what He wants us to do even if that clashes with and cancels out what we want to do.
The second reaction is to bear our own cross. It’s not enough to simply give mental assent to Jesus’ words; we have to actually obey them. That means taking a hard look in the mirror and seeing who we really are. Bearing one’s own cross is to say, “Yes, I’m a liar, an adulterer, an idolater, a fill-in-the-blank; and God, You hate my sin. I’m willing to come to You with it so You can deliver me from it, heal me of it, reveal it completely to me, and/or show me how to overcome it.”
It will cost us our crosses to be disciples of Christ. Maybe that’s why more of us don’t break through to that title. We’re just not really willing to give it all up, even to the point of giving up all we think we were born to be.
God can be trusted with our lives and crosses. Worship God today for having a better plan for us than we could ever have for ourselves.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,
Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
Also still available:
Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)