Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. - Luke 9:23
When I started writing this devotion, I started with a clever list of practical ways in which we choose Jesus every day.
Midway through day two I realised just how wrong I am. It is humanly impossible to choose Jesus and His ways out of our own strengths.
Let me take you on my journey:
Day one sees me starting my devotion. I did some research, read some sermons, meditated on what I read and really believed God wanted me to be practical about this. When we become Christians and we give our lives to Jesus, we don’t always realise that choosing Jesus above the world is a daily choice we need to make. We choose to invite Him into our workplace, take Him to meetings with us, bring Him along when we visit with friends. We make our daily decisions based on the fact that we chose to follow Jesus and our decisions need to reflect that.
Day one was easy: no hurdles, no nasty clients, and baby slept well. I felt like I had it all under control and was totally capable of choosing His ways over mine.
Midway through day two, mayhem strikes. A client who likes to deal out undeserving insults and tongue-lashings, baby is upset, and the neighbours’ dogs are barking for no reason. I was exhausted and my emotions were all over the place!
It hit me like a ton of bricks. There is no way that I, a human being with a sinful nature, can follow Jesus out of my own strength. It is only through His grace and only through the Holy Spirit that I can have peace.
Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies." - Zechariah 4:6
Thank goodness that God loved me first and therefore chose me first. I am saved because I believe in Jesus the Son of God, and I don’t need to earn His favour. We love each other because He loved us first. - 1 John 4:19
Is there an area in your life where you have not yet chosen to let Jesus take the lead; in your work, your marriage, your budget? Choose today to give that to Jesus.
Dear Lord, thank You for loving us and choosing us first. Thank You that we don’t have to earn Your favour, but that by choosing Jesus You freed us from sin and death.
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