April 23, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23
Have you ever asked yourself the question, "What does it mean to follow Christ?" Jesus makes clear to His disciples what the demands will be if they follow Him. He says, you must give up your life and take mine. "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it" (Luke 9:24).
There must come a definite time and place in our lives when we must make the break, cutting loose our life, and giving it totally to Him. To turn away from the idolatry of self-centeredness, to say no to every course of action that is based on self-will and self-seeking, to choose His will and to seek Him with all our hearts, and to live under His lordship.
Keith Hunt, who worked with Inter-Varsity Fellowship, was telling Dr. Dennis Kinlaw about an experience he had during a meeting with international students in his home. After the meeting, one student came to him and said, "Mr. Hunt, I appreciate your hospitality and I enjoyed the Bible study you conducted. I'm impressed with the students here; they seem to have a peace and a joy that I don't have. I'm very interested in being a Christian. What does it take to be a Christian?" Keith very clearly said, "First, you must give your life to Christ without reservations, give it totally and completely."
The young man answered, "Oh, I couldn't do that; it would cost me too much. It would cost me my political standing. I would be ostracized from society, disowned by my family, and possibly killed." Keith said, "Well, if you ever make that decision, I would love to hear from you." And the young man left.
Keith was disturbed later, thinking maybe he should have tried to persuade him or tried harder to reach him. But the opportunity was gone, and he prayed earnestly for the young man that night. About 6:15 the next morning, the doorbell rang. Keith grabbed his robe, and who should be at the door but this young international student. His hair wasn't combed, his clothes were in disarray, and he looked haggard and tired. He said, "Mr. Hunt, I have been up all night wrestling with what you said it would take to be a Christian. I can resist no longer. If that's what it takes to be a Christian, I am ready to pay that price!"
Really, that's what it's all about! To surrender unconditionally is not easy. We do not like to give up our lives. Surrender here is not the surrender of eternal life, but the surrender of our will. When that is done, God takes control.
This is the great conflict and crisis of our life. It's turning over to God all of our rights to choose, accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. The Lord makes a disciple His own possession and becomes responsible for him. Jesus writes over his life, "He is mine!" Could there be any greater joy and blessing in life than to be under His care and keeping, resting in the security of His plan and purpose for us, and led by the Holy Spirit in all of our endeavors? The surrender of our lives to Him releases a freedom, liberty, and peace that only He can give!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=114&date=2012-04-23
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