“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.”
When you take your car to the mechanic, you always brace for the moment when he calls you with the estimate of repairs. How much will it cost to fix it, and how long will you be without it? The Bible tells you the cost of following Jesus. It requires your whole life, but it is well worth it.
It’s a Daily Decision
Jesus laid down the gauntlet for being a disciple. If you follow Me, you have to deny yourself, pick up the cross DAILY, and follow My leading. Most people have no clue about the weight or meaning behind those words. Denying yourself is much more than telling yourself, “no.” It’s trading your life, plans, and aspirations for what God’s plans are. It’s saying, “not my will, but Your will be done.”
Identify with Jesus
Christianity can’t be an add-on to your life to make sure you get to Heaven. It has to be the foundation upon which everything else is built. Salvation is a gift, but discipleship costs you everything. Picking up your cross daily means that you have crucified your old life (Gal 2:21), and your life is now in Jesus. You not only identify with Jesus, but sacrifice (the cross) is the dominant feature of your nature.
The Cost of Following Jesus
These words may sound difficult, but Jesus knew that if people aren’t fully committed, they will wilt and fade at the first sign of trouble. To be a disciple means to be deeply rooted in the Word of God and reaching for Heaven. You have committed your life to become more like Jesus. To these people, one day they will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The benefits always outweigh the costs.