Monday, September 28, 2015

Follow Me

Luke 9:23 - Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

Again, from 2009! Thankful His Word never changes.

We each have changes that need to take place in our lives.  I need to rely on God more and less on myself, I was once reminded.  This is nothing new to me.  If we let go of our own strengths, God will pick up the slack in the times of our greatest weakness.  We have all He requires of us at any particular time. He has chosen each of us for a specific purpose and through our obedience He will work out that plan through us.

How is this done?  Part of it is through discipline, a word that can make us cringe.  Discipline can be negative when it means punishment, correction or restraint.  Yet it is also positive when it means to instruct or prepare.  The word "disciple" comes from the word discipline and I believe that to be positive--and we are called to be Jesus' disciples.

We have a good example to follow, that of Jesus Christ, who took up His cross daily and literally.  He took up His cross even before He physically took it upon the road to Golgotha.  He thought not of Himself but of all others first.  That's a disciple's discipline!  

Discipline starts inwardly through meditating or studying God's word, prayer and fasting.  Obedience is a discipline and that's all the Lord desires of us.  We should not doubt or question His will for us.  It means putting aside my desires and living the life that Jesus would want me to live.  When we allow Him to guide us, He will make those necessary changes and I believe we might not even recognize all of them right away.  Our lives should be one of instruction and preparation.  The discipline of punishment or correction will come if we choose to go our own direction.  Christ's discipline, however, is done out of love.

Remember Christ went before us in discipline.  He knows all about it.  When we received Him as our Savior, we were also crucified with Him on the cross.  We gave up our old, sinful nature so we could follow Him.  He will be there for us when we stumble, lift us up when we fall, comfort us when we are distressed and guide us when we lose our way.  Let us show our gratitude for His discipline through our own self-control.

Hebrews 12:11 - Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 

Heavenly Father, let us be challenged today with discipline.  Let us develop good spiritual disciplines that lead to godliness and righteousness.  Turn us toward the road that leads to our own daily cross and give us the strength to pick it up as you picked up Yours.  Thank You, Lord, that You did not deny us the life that was intended for us.  Guide us in the ways that are right.  Speak to us that we might know what Your desires are for each of us and thank You they are not all the same.  Your ways are good and true and we cannot go wrong in following Your desires for our lives.  Lord, open our eyes to see where we need to change.  Take away the selfishness that can take over when we desire to do our own thing.  Convict us, Lord, when we have strayed.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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