23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Jesus is addressing His disciples here and He is pointing out to them that to be His disciple, they will have to choose one thing. That one thing is to carry their cross daily.
Why did Jesus give this command to those who aspire to be His disciple that they need to carry the cross daily? The cross has always been a symbol of death but not all of us are called to literal martyrdom.
Jesus calls us to die daily to those things that will draw us away from Him. He is not being arrogant or selfish but He wants us to be committed and to be focus in following Him.
Here we can learn two things about being a true disciple of Jesus. We are called to yield to Him. We are to yield our rights and to thirst after righteousness.
The second thing is as a true disciple we are to pledge our allegiance to Jesus. That is biblical discipleship. We are to have an absolute allegiance to the Lordship of Jesus.
As a disciple of Christ, we can be pulled in either of these two directions; the world or the word. Jesus wants us to be drawn to Him; He is the Word and His desire is we follow Him. Jesus called the Twelve to follow Him, to be in community. To be a disciple of Jesus we are called to be in community and this is not an option. Every Christian is called to discipleship and it involves the body of Christ. If we want to follow after Jesus we need to obey. He said “to teach them to obey everything I have commanded.” Jesus did not say “teach them what I have commanded.” This so that our lives can be transformed. This is why we need to be in a Care Cell.
Written by: Pastor Wilson Ooi
"How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, 'Violence! but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? ....."
How many of us have felt like this before?
These questions were asked by Habakkuk when God's people were going through a really rough time. God was allowing discipline. Habakkuk could not understand it so he and God had a conversation about it. A very straight forward and honest conversation.
The book ends with Habakkuk stating, "The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights" Habakkuk 3:19.
I wonder why he never mentioned about the feet of a horse or an elephant, at least they are stronger than a deer’s feet! As I found out more about the deer, I was more amazed with this creation of God. Actually, the secret is in it’s hind feet. The deer can place her back feet exactly where her front feet had stepped. Not an inch off! They are naturals at it.
In times of danger, she is able to run securely and not get "off track." The hind of the deer is able to scale difficult terrain and help thedeer to escape from predators. As I read this, immediately I know God is reminding me to put my spiritual "hind feet" on Him. He will strengthen and enable me to walk on higher hills. He makes our feet like deer feet so we will not fall off the path of righteousness.
Today, if you are going through a rough time remember this verse. God is good and will always get us through.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights. Psalm 18:33
Written by: Pastor Chai Bee