“One of my neighbors was over last night,” Stan commented on morning, “and we were reminiscing about some of the things we thought and did as young people that really missed the mark for our adult Christian lives.”
“Anything in particular?” I asked.
“Good deeds,” Stan replied. “My neighbor said he was taught that he should do one good deed a day. He would focus on doing one good deed, get it done, and then go on with his day, doing whatever he wanted.”
“Get it done and out of the way,” I commented. “Kind of missed the idea, don’t you think?”
“Not unlike me at one point in my life,” Stan said, “and, I suppose, not unlike a lot of people seeking to be disciples.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “you remember what Jesus said about being a disciple, about denying self, taking up what I am to take up, and following Him.”
“I do,” I said. “What about it?”
“In Luke’s gospel account,” Stan replied, “he records that Jesus said I am to take up my cross ‘daily,’ and I don’t think that means once a day. I think it means all day, every day. It took me some time to get to the point of recognizing, understanding, and pursuing the notion that it’s to be a lifestyle of discipleship.”
“A lifestyle of discipleship,” I repeated. “Not just take up what I am to take up once each day, mark it off the list, and then go on with what I want to do on my own. Is that it?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied. “And remember, it all begins with the first step of denying self, getting me out of the way, so the next two steps of taking up and following can and will occur. And, I believe, all three steps are to be ‘daily’ in the sense that all of me is to be dedicated to being a disciple all of the time. Not just once a day!”
Bible verses to consider:
And He was saying to them all, :If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23.
And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when it’s time through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thank you, too, for the provision of being His disciple on this side of eternity for as long as you keep me here. I confess that too often I do not pursue being His disciple on a daily basis, with a life of denying self, taking up what He has for me to take up, and following Him wherever, whenever, and however He wants to lead. Please help me in every way I need in order to be the disciple you intend, living the life of discipleship, not the life I want apart from being a disciple. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted by faith God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him when your time here is done so that you can pursue being a disciple on this side of eternity? If no, why? What is standing in the way? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption for when your time here is completed, how are you doing with the three steps of being a disciple on a daily (full-time) basis? If you sense some changes may be necessary for your role as a disciple, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?