And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
Christ came as a rescue mission to save fallen man. Those who have believed on Him, and will believe on Him, are the results of that mission.
Once we are His, the mission does not end. In fact, it is just getting started for us. We are His agents to fulfill the rescue mission as we join God’s plan. Having been rescued by the grace of God, we must be compelled to be agents of grace in the lives of others.
Years ago, when I was a kid, I remember watching the news for days as rescue workers tried to free a young girl who had fallen in an abandoned well shaft. She had gotten wedged tightly in the shaft during her fall and thankfully never hit the bottom, where certain death would have occurred.
Crews worked overnight in all conditions to free her. And, of course, they eventually succeeded. When we look around us at the world, we can see people who are wedged tightly in their sin. They are helpless to free themselves. They are hoping awaiting rescue, whether they realize it or not.
God wants to use people, people like you and like me, to help free them and direct them to the Savior. But are we willing to be used? Are we willing to be on a rescue mission?
It’s easy to say we are willing but too often we find barriers in our way: distractions (busyness of life), fear (unqualified), apathy (uncaring, unmoved by the gospel).
No one wants to admit they face barriers but don’t we all? So, how do we overcome them and get back on mission?
Luke 9:23 gives us a clear process. If we want to follow Christ and be on mission, we must start by denying self. When we deny self, we take the focus off our wants, needs, and desires and start asking God what His plan is, who to serve, and where He wants us to go.
We also must take up our cross. Taking up our cross means we are willing to sacrifice. It means we are putting Him as priority and understand the importance of the mission.
Now, with Him in focus and our priorities in place, we follow.
One more thing to point out. The word daily. This isn’t a one time decision. We are by nature sinful people. We fail. We forget. We misplace our priorities. That means every day we need to decide who we will follow and who we will serve. Ourselves or God?
I encourage you today to choose to be on mission. Let’s be agents of grace in other’s lives. Together we can change the world.